FreeRTOS Real-Time Programming Online

Standard Level: 4 sessions (5 hours per session)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a LIVE INSTRUCTOR-LED training event delivered ONLINE.

It covers the same scope and content as a scheduled in-person class and delivers comparable learning outcomes.

  • Find out more about Doulos Online training here, including access details
  • I am looking for in-person training only

Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOSes) are operating systems developed for embedded microprocessors or controllers. These systems have the ability to immediately respond in a predetermined and predictable way to external events, so they must meet strict deadline constraints and handle different aspects of the application successfully. A key feature of an RTOS is ensuring that most urgent operations are taken care of by assigning higher priorities. Real-Time systems also focus on the communication and synchronization between different tasks to achieve the objective of the application. This course is based on FreeRTOS, the de facto and freely available standard RTOS for microcontrollers. Attendees will gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop and maintain applications running in a Real-Time environment. Workshops comprise approximately 50% of class time and are based around carefully designed Labs to reinforce and challenge the extent of learning. The course is provided in partnership with embedded experts AC6.

  • Cortex-M4 architecture overview
  • Discover the concepts of Real-Time multitasking
  • Understand Real-Time constraints
    • Determinism
    • Preemption
    • Interrupts
  • Understand the FreeRTOS architecture
  • Discover the various FreeRTOS services and APIs
  • Learn how to develop FreeRTOS applications

This course is designed for anyone interested in, or tasked with, the development of a resource constrained Real-Time system. For example, software engineers, field engineers and (project) managers.

  • Prior attendance of C Programming for Embedded Systems is recommended or:
  • Familiarity with embedded C concepts and programming
  • Basic knowledge of embedded processors

No hardware is required. The course uses a QEMU emulated STM32F407-Discovery board (Cortex/M4) with System Workbench IDE running on a virtual machine in the cloud. Delegates get to keep a copy of the virtual machine.

Soft PDF copies of the course materials are provided to each delegate.

This course is provided in partnership with embedded experts AC6.


Cortex-M Overview

  • ARMv7-M Architecture
  • Cortex-M4 Architecture
  • Registers and Execution States
  • Privileges, Mode and Stacks
  • Exercise:  Create a new project
  • Reset Behavior
  • Exception and Interrupts
  • The System Timer
  • Exercise:  Interrupt Management
  • Memory Model
  • Power Management
  • STM32F407x Implementation Example


Real-Time Concepts

  • Embedded system architectures
  • Tasks and process
  • Real-Time
  • Exercise:  Context Switch


Introduction to FreeRTOS

  • The FreeRTOS Family
  • FreeRTOS+Ecosystem
  • Why use FreeRTOS
  • FreeRTOS Code Structure


  • Scheduler
  • Schedulability

Task Management

  • Creating Tasks
  • Exercise:  Task Management
  • Task Priorities
  • Task States
  • The idle task
  • Delays
  • Changing Task Priority
  • Deleting Tasks
  • Suspending Tasks
  • Exercise:  Periodic Tasks
  • Kernel Structures
  • Thread Local Storage
  • Kernel Interrupts on Cortex-M4
  • Scheduling Traces
  • Exercise:  Task Statistics


Memory Management in FreeRTOS

  • FreeRTOS Memory Managers
  • Out of Memory management
  • Stack overflow detection
  • Exercise:  Context Switch Measurement

Resource Management

  • Mutual Exclusion
  • Critical Sections
  • Mutexes
  • Exercise:  Resource Management
  • Gatekeeper Tasks
  • Lock-Free Data Structures

Synchronization Primitives

  • Queues
  • Exercise:  Queue Management
  • Queues Sets
  • Synchronization
  • Events and Event Groups
  • The Readers/writer problem
  • Exercise:  Readers Writer Problem

Interrupt Management 

  • Tasks and Interrupts
  • FreeRTOS Binary and Counting Semaphores
  • Exercise:  Interrupt Management
  • Using Other Primitives within an ISR

Session 4

Interrupt Management

  • Task Notifications
  • Stream Buffers
  • Message Buffers
  • Interrupt Nesting
  • Low Power Support
  • Exercise: Tickless Mode

Software Timer

  • Software Timers
  • Exercise:  Implement Soft Timers
  • Deferred Interrupt Handling
  • Exercise:  Software Timer Management

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