T-Engine is project that standardize the hardware part of development board (not the standardization of main processor).
This project is well-known amongst the processor manufacturer company in Japan. You can buy T-Engine development kit directly from Japanese
microprocessor manufacturers such as Renesas Technology or from electronics company like Personal Media Corp.I list websites where you can
find T-Engine development board to buy as below…
T-Engine also has 3 subtypes. They are micro T-Engine, nano T-Engine and pico T-Engine.
Nano T-Engine is small size embedded platform (smaller that micro T-Engine). Its size is not bigger that the coin-size (view applications of nano T-Engine
and its development board here). Pico T-Engine is the smallest platform. It’s generally used for developing small device like switch, sensor or lighting equipment.
It can be used as the sensor node in wireless sensor network application too. If you want to know more about pico T-Engine , please visit this page.
Nowadays, there are various T-Engine development kits on the embedded system market. The difference between each one is the hardware
assembled to be the dvelopment kits. However , when you buy T-Engine board , it usually come along with Software Development Kit such as
Operating System , Driver for the peripheral devices , compiler , toolchains and extension of standard T-Kernel such as Virtual Memory module ,
Process Support Unit and File System , etc. Now , let talk about T-Kernel.
T-Kernel is the kernel for T-Engine platform. It’s one of the real-time operation system that was released by T-Engine forum.
T-Kernel only implement core source code of the kernel that can be commonly used in any T-Engine hardware platform.
It doesn’t include the drivers for specific hardware but it has only one sample driver source code you can use as the reference to make your own driver.
You can download T-Kernel source code directly from T-Engine forum (you need to subscribe to the source code or specification that you want to download).
The document that describe T-Kernel Specification is also available in English too.
However , the implementation guideine for porting T-Kernel to some processor (such as SH7751, VR5500, SH7727 , etc.)
is not written in English (it only availible in Japanese so you need to translate them by yourself ). The objective of T-Kernel is to provide software standard
for T-Engine platform. It also has the subsidiary called “micro T-Kernel or μT-Kernel”. T-Kernel is suitable for large embedded system that has 32-bit main processor
and it can be used in the system that has MMU (memory management unit) while μT-Kernel is proper to use in smaller embedded system like 16-bit CPU system
that has small amount of RAM and ROM and was designed to support the CPU that don’t have MMU.
On the other hand , we can said that μT-Kernel is small version of T-Kernel that cut off some unnecessary functions that will become an overhead in small system.
It has been optimized for efficiency and gain the best performance when using it on small embedded system.