uEZ® Rapid Development Platform
uEZ® (pronounced muse) is an open-source rapid development platform, developed by FDI. Like the Greek muses who inspired the creation process for the arts and sciences, uEZ inspires rapid development of embedded applications. It supplies application developers with an extensive library of open source software, drivers, and processor support – all under a common framework and at a low cost. By providing RTOS and processor abstraction, uEZ® frees companies to focus on innovation and their value-added applications while minimizing development time. It enhances portability of application code to multiple platforms and has high reusability, saving even more time and cost.
uEZ Brochures, Manuals, and Products
- uEZ Brochure (PDF)
- uEZ Presentation (PDF)
- uEZ Software Quickstart Guide (PDF)
- uEZ Software User’s Guide (PDF)
- uEZ License File
- 4.3" Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
- 3.5" QVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
- 5.7" QVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
- 5.7" VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
- 5.7" VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC1788
- 4.3" WQVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC1788
- 4.3" VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for RX62N
- 4.7" VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for RX62N
uEZ Operating Systems Abstraction Layer (OSAL)
The selection of an RTOS can be one of the most daunting aspects of developing an embedded system. With uEZ®, the primary features of common multi-tasking operating systems are abstracted, thus easing the transition to an open source or low-cost RTOS. The uEZ® OSAL gives applications access to the following features in an OS-independent fashion:
- Pre-emptive multitasking
- Stack overflow detection
- Unlimited number of tasks
- Semaphores (binary, counting, mutex)
uEZ Subsystems Drivers
The uEZ® subsystem drivers use the OSAL function to give protected access to the processor peripherals. The subsystem driver API functionas are typically protocol layer interfaces (TCP/IP, USB, etc.) designed as high-level access routines, such as open, close, read, write, etc., where possible.
uEZ Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
The HAL functions provide single-threaded unprotected access to the processor peripherals. Customers can use the uEZ HAL routines provided by FDI or they can write their own. The HAL routines provide for RTOS/uEZ® independence and allow portability within a family of processors.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is uEZ® and how does it help me?
uEZ® is a Rapid Development Platform designed to simplify embedded software development. It should help you get your product to market faster and with a lower development cost than other options. When you get right down to it, what’s more important than saving time and $$$!
The goal of the uEZ® platform is to provide underlying RTOS and processor abstraction, enabling the programmer to focus on the value-added features of their product. uEZ® enhances portability of application code to multiple CPU platforms with high reusability.
- Is uEZ® expensive - what does it cost?
uEZ® is an open source, middleware platform so there is no cost to the user. Customers with the necessary engineering resources, a compatible compiler suite, and a little free time can directly integrate uEZ® into their embedded application. For customers with time or resource limitations, FDI offers affordable integration services that are customized to your hardware and software requirements. These FDI integration services are full turnkey, can cost as little as $10K, and may require only 4 weeks of schedule time to complete and test on your hardware.
- Where do I get uEZ® and who provides support for the platform?
- Why not use Linux?
Linux is a powerful OS with a much larger code and memory footprint and requiring a processor with a dedicated MMU (Memory Management Unit). uEZ® is designed to work with lower cost processors with smaller memories and, whenever possible, to use only the processor’s internal ROM and RAM. A recent study undertaken by FDI reviewed the cost increases likely for a Linux based system over a uEZ®-based system. The study found a potential hardware cost savings of $25–$40 per unit for the uEZ® system. This savings is significant since it might represent 25–50% of the total embedded hardware cost.
In addition, setting up a full Linux development system can be a source of frustration for many developers. uEZ® uses a single source tree for all its applications and drivers, thus providing a build system compatible with the IDE of choice. Compiling uEZ® is as easy as compiling a single application.
- I don’t need all of the features you listed, can uEZ® be trimmed down?
uEZ® was specifically designed and structured to allow developers to pick and choose only the features that are needed for their particular application. Typical code and data memory footprints for uEZ® are 300KB code and 50KB data memory (excluding data memory for LCD or display Frame Buffers).
- Can we use another RTOS?
All uEZ® components are made to connect through the uEZ® OSAL (Operating System Abstraction Layer) to the RTOS ensuring compatibility with many different RTOS’s. Currently all uEZ® commercial development by FDI is being focused on the FreeRTOS™ platform since it satisfies the low cost tool requirement because it is “free”. In addition, for medical and intrinsic safety applications FDI partners with Wittenstein to offer a SafeRTOS™ / uEZ platform option. RTOS products from other vendors can also be used with uEZ®.
- Which compiler suites do you support?
Currently, uEZ® supports the following three main tool sets: the low cost Rowley CrossWorks compiler, the IAR EWARM tool suite and the Keil, ARM RealView tool suite. In addition, GNU, HEW - High Performance Embedded Workshop and other compilers can also be used with uEZ®.
- What debug tools are available?
Since uEZ® uses the debug tools that are provided in the customers compiler suite, it can be used with any of the tools listed above.
- Which processors are supported?
Even though uEZ® is processor independent, all of our initial development has been focused on various members of the ARM Family and Renesas RX families. We currently support the NXP LPC24xx family, the NXP LPC17xx, and the Renesas RX62N family.
- If I use uEZ®, do I have to open source my proprietary application code?
No, as long as the code provides functionality that is distinct from that already provided by uEZ.
- Do I have to open source my changes to uEZ®?
Yes. When requested, the modified uEZ® source must be provided.
- Do I have to document that my product uses uEZ®?
Yes, but a website link to http://www.teamfdi.com/uez is sufficient. The uEZ® trademark or link does not have to appear on your product.
- If I create a driver using the uEZ® API, does my driver have to be open source too?
No, drivers created by you are independent modules added to the uEZ® code base per the above exception. However, if you find this source useful to others, we ask you consider making it open source and contribute to the uEZ® code base.
- Do I have to offer to provide uEZ® code to users of my application?
- Can I receive professional support on a commercial basis?
Future Designs, Inc. provides limited basic technical support for uEZ at http://www.teamfdi.com/forum/
For more advanced support, Future Designs, Inc. provides full-service technical support. See http://www.teamfdi.com/support/full-service.php for more details.
- Is a warranty provided? Is there legal protection?
- Can I use the uEZ® trademark to promote my product?
Yes, but permission from Future Designs, Inc. must be requested by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.