We’re finishing some tests on the IWill 8-chip 16 core server and seeing outstanding timing. RTCore can share Linux with cores or reserve them for real-time. On reserved cores the jitter time we have found to be fundamental never reaches two microseconds, no matter what the system load. On non-reserved, the IWill systems look like they are staying under 10 microseconds – we will see if that holds up over a few days. The fact that it has done so well is a tribute to AMDs fast interconnect architecture. Of course the utility of multi-core in high end control or simulation is that you can have dedicated real-time and powerful computing in the same box.
In RTCore (both RTLinux and RTCoreBSD) you can create threads on any processor and then create a thread that is “reserved”. While that thread is live, the BSD or Linux client is never scheduled on the thread’s processor core. So it is easy to reserve and free cores as demanded.
At under 1KW, the Iwill is not even that bad on power consumption (although we have means of bringing that down and newer processors should be cooler). All in all, it is obvious that a new era has arrived for the higher end of control systems, network devices, and other systems that blend computation with control. As we test out the real-time networking capabilities later this week, I will come back to talk about some other, possibly surprising, areas of application.