Early customer applications and the display CPU processing power, shaped the iDevOS operating system and its development by Itron (UK) Ltd into a very flexible and easy-to-use solution, which has proved to be of great benefit to customers.
It has not only optimized various design costs but also enhanced display performance. The key feature proved to be the speed of development, which allows specific customer demonstrations to be created in a matter of hours to provide rapid proof of concept within the customer’s organisation. This facility has also allowed Itron’s website resources to expand rapidly so customers could download complete operating screen images and code for keyboards, interface setup, graphs, menus and animations to plug directly into their application.
The ability to create and upload a library of fonts and images in jpg, bmp or png to the 128M/4G byte of onboard storage has now produced a level of display quality to match more powerful systems. The iDevOS script-based programming language with commands like TEXT, DRAW, IMG, LOAD, SETUP etc has made it very accessible to hardware design engineers as well as experienced C++ programmers. Depending on context, the 32 core commands expand up to 300 functional operations and being a “Real Time” operating system, new functions and structures can be created ‘on the fly’ if required.
The ‘free to download’ iDevTFT development suite runs on a Windows PC to provide project control, font editing, program development, syntax checking and full debug. In fact the built-in real time syntax check and debug has saved many hours of ‘head scratching’ and made it possible for Itron UK to analyse customer submitted programs when help is required. Users can copy their code to SD card and plug it in or upload to the display via a USB. Several customers have now transferred their complete application onto the iDevOS hardware/software platform as Itron (UK) Ltd’s display modules evolved into modular PLCs with isolated digital interfaces, PT100 and Thermocouple inputs and PWM motor drive outputs. Although iDevOS provides the solution for 90 per cent of customer applications, Itron also supplies embedded Linux display modules for those applications already written in C/C++.