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The Asterix Real-Time Kernel


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper




IEEE Computer Society


This paper describes a real-time kernel, Asterix, that in a practical manner makes use of many of the recent advances made in the real-time systems research community. The basic ambition behind the development of the Asterix real-time kernel was to pack state-of the art research results into package such that it can be easily used and understood by people in the embedded systems industry. From an academic point of view the Asterix real-time kernel fulfills all the basic requirements necessary for facilitating different types of timing analyses. For a software designer this signifies that the Asterix real-time kernel has the means to satisfy engineering of real-time software in the same fashion as civil engineers make use of structural calculus when designing bridges or houses. The Asterix real-time kernel is in combination with its support environment in a unique position to provide the embedded systems industry with a development kit that can increase the reliability, safety, and testability of their applications with several magnitudes compared to existing development systems. From the outset of the development project we decided that the kernel would be distributed as an open source program. For a customer this has several benefits: nothing can be cheaper than free, and risks taken by relying on a small company for providing a real-time kernel can be minimized by having access to the source code. In summary, the kernel packs state-of-the art features into a package that is all free and open.


author = {Henrik Thane and Anders Pettersson and Daniel Sundmark},
title = {The Asterix Real-Time Kernel},
month = {June},
year = {2001},
publisher = {IEEE Computer Society},
url = {}