Niels Gandraß: uTimer: A Uniform Low-level Timer-API for RIOT-OS

  • When Sep 02, 2021 from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
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Microcontrollers nowadays offer a large range of hardware timers. As peripherals grow in diversity, supporting them gets increasingly challenging for embedded operating systems. While new hardware becomes available, inflexible software interfaces struggle with appropriately exposing it. A need for versatile timer hardware abstraction therefore arises.

With this work, we first contribute a large-scale analysis of embedded timer peripherals and a survey of existing low-level drivers. Based on both, we propose uTimer, a uniform low-level timer-API for the RIOT operating system. Its timer type independent interface allows transparent and interchangeable use of all available peripherals while preserving portability whenever possible. We develop automated benchmark suites to quantify its entailed abstraction overhead and compare API performance to current solutions.