Real-Time CORBA

Increasingly real-time system developers are searching to improve the flexibility and portability of their systems. An increasing popular alternative to building systems hard-wired to the machine architecture is the use of CORBA for building replaceable components. CORBA, or Common Object Request Broker Architecture, is a standard distributed object architecture. Middleware products that implement this standard are called Object Request Brokers (ORBs). Many embedded and real-time systems are already distributed. Sensors and controls may have their own processor and typically participate in communications with other processors over a real-time bus or via a network. Processors interact via shared memory across a VME bus. Software has historically been custom architected for each bus or network such that retargeting the software to new technologies forces a total rebuild. Thus, upgrading these rigid systems is very expensive. Taking advantage of new processor and bus technologies becomes the justification for a total rebuild rather than the incremental upgrade it should be.

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