In 1999, HyNetOS was designed for a specific non-ARM RISC/DSP architecture. Although the operating system was not very well known at that time, it soon became very popular among its target users for a number of reasons: ease of use, comparable features to “full-size” operating systems while maintaining a very small memory footprint, and most of all, it provided a very efficient high performance operating system for data communication.

Smart Network Devices, the manufacturer of this OS, recently ported the product to the ARM architecture to expand their offering to ARM processor-based design teams, and to continue the success story in combination with the world’s leading 32-bit embedded CPU brand.

Under the new name 4NetOS the OS providing ARM processor-based support was launched on an ARM720T processor from STMicroelectronics in July of this year. Upcoming versions will also support other manufacturer’s ARM CPUs as well as ARM9 architectures.

This article reviews the advantages and trade-offs from designing a small embedded OS into a mainstream embedded OS&#151vs. scaling down a mainstream PC OS to a embedded OS.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 5, No. 3, 2006