When using a smaller ARM micro, without the benefit of large amounts of SDRAM, often some kind of specialised real-time operating system must be used to provide the kind of functionality that modern software required (Threads, Mutexes, TCP/IP, Wifi etc...). There are numerous options available, ranging from freely available open-source solutions, to well supported vendor-supplied solutions. When evaluating a new system for a Cortex-M3 core on a recent design, we investigated 3 options:

These represent a reasonable selection, each providing a similar array of functionality. The final decision depends greatly on the tools that the developer is already familiary with. RL-ARM works best when already using the Realview/Keil tools suite and PowerPac for the IAR Workbench. FreeRTOS comes with project files for a variety of different environments, include Keil, Rowley, IAR and GCC. In the end the decision depends on the project requirements, budget, and tools availability, and for our project we choose the IAR PowerPac, as the tools were already being used by the customer.

In conjunction with our Bigeye 3MP camera system, we have begun work on a PTP/IP implementation. This allows camera systems to be managed remotely over a network, using a standard IP protocol, facilitating interaction with a range of pre-existing camera management suites. The system should also be compatible with Microsoft's MTP system, allowing it native integration with Windows Vista. http://gphoto.sourceforge.net/

We are working on a high resolution network camera called 'Bigeye'. The intended use is for security and monitoring applications where full remote operation is required. Bigeye can operate either with power-over-Ethernet, or using WiFi, and can take high quality pictures at 3 Megapixels (about 10x the resolution of a a standard IP camera). Built in features include IR motion sensing, day / night operation, internal 1GB storage, 802.11b/g networking, GPIOs for control and sensing and expansion for things like temperature and tamper sensors.