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TI Hercules Safety MCUs RTOS Demo
RM48 and TMS570 (Cortex-R4F) Using Code Composer Studio 5
[RTOS Ports]

RM48 TMDXRM48USB USB stick and TMS570 TMDX570LS31USB USB stick


This page documents the FreeRTOS demo applications for the RM4 and TMS570 safety microcontrollers from Texas Instruments. The demo application uses the FreeRTOS Cortex-R4 Code Composer Studio (CCS) port, and targets the TMDXRM48USB and TMS570 TMDX570LS31USB USB stick evaluation boards. The project was created using CCS5.

The Hercules RM4x and TMS570 safety microcontroller family enables customers to easily develop safety-critical products that need to meet the requirements of the ISO 26262 and IEC 61508 safety standards. These ARM Cortex-R4 based microcontrollers offer several options of performance, memory and peripherals. Dual-core lockstep CPU architecture, hardware BIST, MPU, ECC and on-chip clock and voltage monitoring are some of the key functional safety features available to meet the needs of transportation, industrial, and medical applications. For safety critical applications there is an easy migration path from FreeRTOS to WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems' fully safety certified SafeRTOS kernel.

IMPORTANT! Notes on using the FreeRTOS Cortex-R4 CCS demo project

Please read all the following points before using this RTOS port.

  1. Source Code Organisation
  2. The Demo Application
  3. RTOS Configuration and Usage Details
See also the FAQ My application does not run, what could be wrong?

Source Code Organisation

The Preparing the Project Directory Structure section of this page contains important information on preparing the project directory.

The FreeRTOS zip file contains the source files for all the FreeRTOS ports, and all the demo applications. Only a subset of the files are required by the RM48 and TMS570 demo application. See the Source Code Organization section for a description of the downloaded files and information on creating a new project.

The RM48 and TMS570 RTOS demo project is contained in the FreeRTOS/Demo/CORTEX_R4_RM48_TMS570_CCS5 directory. The project contains four build configurations as follows:

  1. An RM48 project that uses emulated (software) floating point.
  2. An RM48 project that uses hardware floating point.
  3. A TMS570 project that uses emulated (software) floating point.
  4. A TMS570 project that uses hardware floating point.

Selecting the RTOS build
To select a build configuration, right click the project in the project explorer, then select the "Build Configurations->Set Active" menu item.

The TI Cortex-R4F Demo Applications

The RM48 and TMS570 demo applications have identical functionality.

Hardware set up

The demo applications use the LEDs that are built onto the USB stick evaluation boards, and the com test tasks (described below) use the UART in loopback mode. Therefore, no hardware setup is required.


The behaviour of the demo depends on the setting of mainCREATE_SIMPLE_BLINKY_DEMO_ONLY, which is defined in main.c.

Functionality with mainCREATE_SIMPLE_BLINKY_DEMO_ONLY set to 1

If mainCREATE_SIMPLE_BLINKY_DEMO_ONLY is set to 1 then main() will call main_blinky(). main_blinky() creates a very simple demo as follows:
  • The main_blinky() Function:

    main_blinky() creates one queue, and two tasks. It then starts the RTOS scheduler.

  • The Queue Send Task:

    The queue send task is implemented by the prvQueueSendTask() function in main_blinky.c. It sends the value 100 to the queue every 200 milliseconds.

  • The Queue Receive Task:

    The queue receive task is implemented by the prvQueueReceiveTask() function in main_blinky.c. It repeatedly reads from the queue with a non zero block time specified. This results in the task entering the Blocked state if the queue is empty. The task toggles the red LED each time the value 100 is received from the queue, therefore, because the queue send task sends to the queue every 200 milliseconds, the queue receive task exits the Blocked state and toggle the red LED every 200 milliseconds.

Functionality with mainCREATE_SIMPLE_BLINKY_DEMO_ONLY set to 0

If mainCREATE_SIMPLE_BLINKY_DEMO_ONLY is set to 0 then main() will call main_full(). main_full() creates a comprehensive test and demo application that demonstrates:
  • Software timers.
  • Queues.
  • Mutexes.
  • Semaphores.
  • UART interrupts used to demonstrate task to interrupt and interrupt to task communications, and context switching from an interrupt service routine.
The created tasks are from the set of standard demo tasks. Standard demo tasks are used by all FreeRTOS port demo applications. They have no specific functionality, and are created just to demonstrate how to use the FreeRTOS API, and test the RTOS port.

main() creates 43 tasks and 2 software timers before starting the RTOS scheduler. The demo then dynamically and continuously creates and deletes a further two tasks while it is running.

In addition to the standard demo tasks, the following tasks and tests are defined and/or created within main_full():

"Check" timer - The check software timer period is set to three seconds. The callback function associated with the check software timer checks that all the standard demo tasks are not only still executing, but are executing without reporting any errors. If the check software timer discovers that a task has either stalled, or reported an error, then the error is logged and the check software timer toggles the red LEDs. If an error has never been latched, the check software timer toggles the green LEDs. Therefore, if the system is executing correctly, the green LEDs will toggle every three seconds, and if an error has ever been detected, the red LEDs will toggle every three seconds.

"Reg test" tasks - These fill both the core and floating point registers with known values, then check that each register maintains its expected value for the lifetime of the tasks. Each task uses a different set of values. The reg test tasks execute with a very low priority, so get preempted very frequently. A register containing an unexpected value is indicative of an error in the context switching mechanism, and will result in the check timer (described above) toggling the red LEDs.

"LED" software timer - The callback function associated with the LED software time maintains a pattern of spinning white LEDs.

Preparing the Code Composer Studio (Eclipse) project directory

Eclipse projects can be either standard makefile projects, or managed make projects. The RM48 and TMS570 projects are managed make projects. This in turn means that either:
  1. All the source files needed to build the project must be located under the folder/directory that contains the project file itself, or
  2. The Eclipse workspace (note workspace, not project) needs to be configured to locate the files elsewhere on the hard disk.
Option 1 is used in this case. To that end, the directory FreeRTOS/Demo/CORTEX_R4_RM48_TMS570_CCS5 contains a batch file called CreateProjectDirectoryStructure.bat that will copy all the required FreeRTOS source files into sub directories inside the demo project directory.

CreateProjectDirectoryStructure.bat must be executed before the CCS project is imported into the Eclipse workspace.

CreateProjectDirectoryStructure.bat cannot be executed from within the CCS Eclipse IDE.

Importing the demo application project into the CCS Eclipse workspace

To import the Cortex-R4F project into an existing or new Eclipse Workspace:
  1. Select "Import" from the CCS "File" menu. The dialogue box shown below will appear. Select "Existing Projects into Workspace".

    Importing the Cortex-R4 CCS5 projects into the Eclipse workspace
    The dialogue box that appears when "Import" is first clicked

  2. In the next dialogue box, select FreeRTOS/Demo/CORTEX_R4_RM48_TMS570_CCS5 as the root directory. Then, make sure the CORTEX_R4_RM48_TMS570_CCS5 project is checked in the "Projects" area, and that the Copy Projects Into Workspace box is not checked, before clicking the Finish button (see the image below for the correct check box states, the finish button is not visible in the image).

    Selecting the FreeRTOS Cortex-R4 project to import into Eclipse
    Make sure that two projects are checked, and "Copy projects into workspace" is not checked

RTOS Configuration and Usage Details

Cortex-R4 FreeRTOS port specific configuration

Configuration items specific to this demo are contained in FreeRTOS/Demo/CORTEX_R4_RM48_TMS570_CCS5/FreeRTOSConfig.h. The constants defined in this file can be edited to suit your application. In particular -
  • configTICK_RATE_HZ

    This sets the frequency of the RTOS tick interrupt. The supplied value of 1000Hz is useful for testing the RTOS kernel functionality but is faster than most applications need. Lowering the frequency will improve efficiency.

Each port #defines 'BaseType_t' to equal the most efficient data type for that processor. This port defines BaseType_t to be of type long.

Interrupt service routines

Unlike many FreeRTOS ports, interrupt service routines that cause a context switch have no special requirements, and can be written as per the compiler documentation. The macro portEND_SWITCHING_ISR() can be used to request a context switch from within an interrupt service routine.

The following snippet of source code, taken from serial.c in the demo application, provides an example. NOTE: The serial driver in the demo application is provided to test the port and demonstrate task to interrupt and interrupt to task communication. It is not intended to provide an example of an efficient implementation. Production implementations should not pass individual characters on queues, and should make use of hardware features such as DMAs and FIFOs.

/* The interrupt implementation uses the standard __interrupt compiler keyword. */
__interrupt void vSCIInterruptHandler( void )
/* xHigherPriorityTaskWoken must be initialised to pdFALSE. */
BaseType_t xHigherPriorityTaskWoken = pdFALSE;
char cChar;
BaseType_t xVectorValue = serialSCI_INTVEC0_REG;

    switch( xVectorValue )
        case serialRECEIVE_BUFFER_FULL:
            /* Receive buffer full interrupt, send received char to a queue.
            The address of xHigherPriorityTaskWoken is used as a parameter. */
            cChar = serialSCI_RD_REG;
            xQueueSendFromISR( xRxedChars, &cChar, &xHigherPriorityTaskWoken );

    /* If calling xQueueSendFromISR() above caused a task to leave the blocked
    state, and the task that left the blocked state has a priority above the
    task that this interrupt interrupted, then xHighPriorityTaskWoken will have
    been set to pdTRUE.  If xHigherPriorityTaskWoken equals true then calling
    portYIELD_FROM_ISR() will result in this interrupt returning directly to the
    unblocked task. */
    portYIELD_FROM_ISR( xHigherPriorityTaskWoken );

An example interrupt service routine demonstrating the use of the portYIELD_FROM_ISR() macro.

Only FreeRTOS API functions that end in "FromISR" can be called from an interrupt service routine.

Resources used by FreeRTOS

FreeRTOS requires exclusive use of RTI channel 0, SWI instructions, and System Software Interrupt (SSI) 0.

Switching between the pre-emptive and co-operative RTOS kernels

Set the definition configUSE_PREEMPTION within FreeRTOSConfig.h to 1 to use pre-emption or 0 to use co-operative. The full demo application may not execute correctly when the co-operative RTOS scheduler is selected.

Compiler options

As with all the ports, it is essential that the correct compiler options are used. The best way to ensure this is to base your application on the provided demo application files.

Memory allocation

Source/Portable/MemMang/heap_4.c is included in the Cortex-R4 demo application project to provide the memory allocation required by the RTOS kernel. Please refer to the Memory Management section of the API documentation for full information.


Note that vPortEndScheduler() has not been implemented.

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