Logic IO Newsletter
July 11, 2005

Dear RTCU User,

It is summertime and at Logic IO we are celebrating this wonderful time of the year with yet another newsletter containing exciting news and interesting announcements.

On the software side we are releasing the RTCU IDE 4.60 with many enhancements including the advanced EIS Compiler.

On the hardware side we are announcing a "facelifted" version of the RTCU M11 Series with several enhancements, as requested by our customers.

Read more about all the exciting news below

We wish you a nice and hot summer...
Best regards,

The Logic IO Team



Logic IO will close in week 29 (July 18 to July 24, both dates included). During this week we are not able to ship products.
Support will be limited and only available through e-mail.


RTCU IDE 4.60 released

This RTCU IDE includes many new features and enhancements and the following list is far from complete:
  • Support for the new EIS Compiler (see section below).
  • Initialization of arrays possible at declaration time.
  • Support for Extended flash in the new M11i Series.
  • OneWire temperature sensor supported in the simulator.
  • Serial communication supported in the simulator.
  • Simulator support for background update functionality.
  • Advanced GPS settings added to simulator.
  • Bug fixed in GPRS Alive timer in simulator running too fast.
  • Problems to stop simulator when program enters Power Down fixed.
  • Memory I/O subsystem increased from 16 to 256 in simulator.
  • Simulation of GPRS Gateway connection with local delivery of VSMS messages.
  • Simulator support for Battery charger functionality.
  • Read/Erase of persistent memory and datalogger can now be cancelled.
  • Read/Erase of persistent memory and datalogger can operate in the background while user doing other tasks.
  • batSimpleCharger() function-block added to support the A5i/A9i units.
  • Cut, Copy and Paste by right clicking in the editor window is supported.
  • Enhanced keyword recognition in the editor implemented.
  • Background update (while application is running) of firmware and application supported.
  • Transfer of firmware and application can operate in the background while user doing other tasks.
  • Support for adding .INC files to a project for easier management of large projects.
  • AUTO keyword is disabled by default and its use is discouraged for new projects (see section below on the AUTO functionality)
  • All examples / on-line code snippets written without the dependency of the AUTO functionality.
  • AUTO functionality can be enabled manually to retain full compatibility with legacy code.
  • Line numbers can selectable be showed in the editor window for easier navigation.
  • Application information added to the status bar.
  • New feature to only retrieve a specific time-interval of the datalogger instead of the complete log.
  • Bug fixed in the simulator where a crash could occur using sockets when a lot of data was received.
  • RTCU unit communication is faster and more reliable allowing multiple communication sessions to co-exists without any problems.

In short the new RTCU IDE 4.60 is a "new experience", so please download it from www.rtcu.dk and see for yourself!

The RTCU IDE Users Manual is also available here

The EIS Compiler

The EIS (Enhanced Instruction Set) Compiler included in the RTCU IDE 4.60 release is only supported by the LARGE RTCU models, the A9i, M10 and M11 Series.
The EIS Compiler includes the following important enhancements:

  • Automatic "dead-code" elimination. Removes unused portions of the code.
  • Very compact and efficient virtual machine instruction set.
  • Support for '+', '<', '<=', '>', '>=', '<>' operators on strings.
    Especially the '+' operatorer is much easier to use than strConcat().
  • AUTO functionality on function-blocks are disallowed and disabled due to the lack of transparency, especially in advanced multithreading applications.
  • Code size on large programs reduced by 50..60% and on small programs as much as 5000%!
  • Execution speed typically increased by 25%

The EIS Compiler requires the EIS Virtual Machine support in the firmware available from firmware release 4.75.

The AUTO keyword has gone legacy!

The AUTO keyword has been used from the very first release of the RTCU IDE to make development of RTCU applications as easy and simple as possible. Some of the standard functions-blocks in the RTCU IDE has the AUTO attribute which means that the compiler will automatically call the function-block to update its status. This makes sense on small, non-multithreading programs and actually works very well. For larger and more advanced multithreading programs a need for a more direct control when a function-block is called for updating arises.

Starting from RTCU IDE 4.60 the AUTO keyword functionality will be disabled by default on new projects and when using the EIS compiler option AUTO cannot be enabled. On small and non-EIS projects AUTO can still be enabled to retain full backward compatibility.

An example on the difference on using gsmIncomingSMS() in an environment with and without AUTO enabled:

With AUTO enabled (legacy setting, not recommended)

  sms : gsmIncomingSMS;

           //No need to call SMS manually.
           //Will be done at BEGIN point by the compiler.
  IF sms.status > 0 THEN

With AUTO disabled (default and recommended)

  sms : gsmIncomingSMS;

  sms();   //call and update function-block manually.
  IF sms.status > 0 THEN

The difference is clear above in that sms() must be called manually by the program. In this short example the advantage is not visible, and may even appear as a disadvantage, but the fact that the program decides when to update the sms status is a major advantage in more complicated multi-threading applications.

Firmware 4.75 (Large) released

RTCU A9i, M10 Series and M11 Series version 4.75:

  • Support for EIS (Enhanced Instruction Set) Virtual Machine
    Large programs approx. 50% smaller, small programs upto 5000% smaller and 10..25% faster execution
  • Optimized string garbage collector implementation. upto 200% faster and much faster de-allocation
  • Increase of constant string size from 32KB to 64KB

  • Support for the coming RTCU M11i Series with extended flash capacity and enhanced GPRS recovery features

  • Support for remote setup of GPRS/Gateway parameters using an SMS on unprogrammed unit

  • OWTempGetID() function added. Returns OneWire ID of specific temperature sensor.

  • Support for automatically recovering from a VPL-fault with autoreset using the new function boardSetFaultReset();

  • Support of new "GPRS SENDDATA" transaction with large datasize up to 480 bytes

  • Fix of potential persistent FRAM write problems due to write protection on chip

  • Fix of string allocation fault occuring in advanced multithreading situations

  • Debug messages limited to 25/sec.

  • Support for the new M11i Series

Firmware version 4.55 (Small) released

RTCU D4, A6, A5i, DIN and SA version 4.55:

  • Optimized string garbage collector implementation. upto 200% faster and faster de-allocation
  • Increase of constant strings from 32KB to 64KB
  • Support for automatically recovering from a VPL-fault with autoreset
  • Fix of potential persistent FRAM write problems due to write protection on chip
  • Fix of string allocation fault occuring in advanced situations with ASYNC function-blocks
  • Debug messages limited to 25/sec.
  • Legacy support for old serFramereceiver() version with 127 bytes receive buffer removed (pre-version 4.45)

  • Support for an external GPS receiver removed, except on the RTCU M7

RTCU M11i Series

The RTCU M11i Series will soon be available as a successor to the current RTCU M11 Series and includes the following enhancements:

  • Uses the Lassen IQ 12-channel GPS receiver.
    First production batches of the M11i Series will use the current
    Lassen SQ 8-channel GPS receiver.
  • Support for optional 512 KByte extra flash capacity for additional 2000 persistent entries.
  • Upto additional 8 MByte on-board flash supported by the hardware.
  • Digitized audio is available on the headset connector.
  • No restriction on the use of the ignition input.
    Ignition can permanently be activated and the unit can still recover from GSM/GPRS network problems.
  • Fully "plug compatible" with the current RTCU M11 Series.

...under development

Logic IO are always busy working on new enhancements and products.
Currently we are working with the following:

  • RTCU GPRS Deployment & Upgrade Server.
    Automatic upgrade of application/firmware is made possible with this server using the just released background update features.

  • Next release of the RTCU GPRS Gateway Professional.

  • Encrypted and Compressed GPRS Gateway communication.
    Higher safety and lower communication costs are the result of these coming features!

  • RTCU MX2
    The "next generation" RTCU that will be a more compact design with a powerfull 32-bit processor, extremely advanced power-management, CAN-bus, SD-CARD support, Bluetooth and much much more...

Suggestions,comments and ideas to new features/products are always welcomed...

For further questions or enquiries:

Logic IO ApS
Jyllandsgade 54
8700 Horsens
Telephone: +45 7625 0210
Fax: +45 7625 0211

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