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Real-Time Operating System Timing Jitter and its Impact on Motor Control

Published

Author(s)

Frederick M. Proctor, William P. Shackleford

Abstract

General-purpose microprocessors are increasingly being used for control applications due to their widespread availability and software support for non-control functions like networking and operator interfaces. Two classes of real-time operating systems (RTOS) exist for these systems. The traditional RTOS serves as the sole operating system, and provides all OS services. Examples1 include ETS, LynxOS, QNX, Windows CE and VxWorks. RTOS extensions add real-time scheduling capabilities to non-real-time OSes, and provide minimal services needed for the time-critical portions of an application. Examples include RTAI and RTL for Linux, and HyperKernel, OnTime and RTX for Windows NT. Timing jitter is an issue in these systems, due to hardware effects such as bus locking, caches and pipelines, and software effects from mutual exclusion resource locks, non-preemtible critical sections, disabled interrupts, and multiple code paths in the scheduler. Jitter is typically on the order of a microsecond to a few tens of microseconds for hard real-time operating systems, and ranges from milliseconds to seconds in the worst case for soft real-time operating systems. The question of its significance on the performance of a controller arises. Naturally, the smaller the scheduling period required for a control task, the more significant is the impact of timing jitter. Aside from this intuitive relationship is the greater significance of timing on openloop control, such as for stepper motors, than for closed-loop control, such as for servo motors. Techniques for measuring timing jitter are discussed, and comparisons between various platforms are presented. Techniques to reduce jitter or mitigate its effects are presented. The impact of jitter on stepper motor control is analyzed.
Citation
Proceedings of the SPIE Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing II
Volume
4562

Keywords

jitter, real-time operating system, stepper motor., task scheduling

Citation

Proctor, F. and Shackleford, W. (2001), Real-Time Operating System Timing Jitter and its Impact on Motor Control, Proceedings of the SPIE Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing II, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=822661 (Accessed May 20, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created October 28, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021