Chapter 1. Key Features

  • eCos is distributed under the GPL license with an exception which permits proprietary application code to be linked with eCos without requiring that it also falls under the GPL. It is royalty and buyout free.

  • eCosPro extends the functionality of eCos to provide a rich set of features as well as additional platform and device drivers support. eCosPro features as well as additional platforms and device drivers can be found on the eCosCentric web site.

  • eCosPro Developer's Kits combine the stability, feature set, and quality of support required for commercial embedded application development with eCos by professional developers of embedded hardware devices.

  • As an Open Source project, eCos is under constant improvement, with an active developer community, based around the eCos community web site at

  • Powerful GUI-based configuration system allowing both large and fine grained configuration of eCos. This allows the functionality of eCos to be customized to the exact requirements of the application.

  • Full-featured, flexible, configurable, real time embedded kernel. The kernel provides thread scheduling, synchronization, timer, and communication primitives. It handles hardware resources such as interrupts, exceptions, memory and caches.

  • The Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) hides the specific features of each supported CPU and platform, so that the kernel and other run-time components can be implemented in a portable fashion.

  • Support for µITRON and POSIX Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs). It also includes a fully featured, thread-safe ISO standard C library and math library.

  • eCosPro Developer's Kits include additional features, such Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) for ARM and Cortex-A, as well as eCos libraries and packages, such as full standard C++ library support, BootUp, Robust Boot Loader (RBL), FlashSafe API for high-reliability, data logging, additional filesystems (multi-threaded FAT, JFFS, MMFS, YAFFS) and more.

  • eCosPro Developer's Kits also provide Eclipse-based IDE (Linux or Windows based), with eCos embedded-target support.

  • Support for a wide variety of devices including many serial devices, ethernet controllers and FLASH memories. There is also support for PCMCIA, USB and PCI interconnects.

  • A fully featured TCP/IP stack implementing IP, IPv6, ICMP, UDP and TCP over ethernet, as well as a lightweight IP stack ( lwIP) designed for embedded systems. Support for SNMP, HTTP, TFTP and FTP are also present.

  • The RedBoot ROM monitor is an application that uses the eCos HAL for portability. It provides serial and ethernet based booting and debug services during development.

  • Many components include test programs that validate the components behaviour. These can be used both to check that hardware is functioning correctly, and as examples of eCos usage.

  • eCos and eCosPro documentation include this User Guide, an Installation Guide, the Reference Manual and the Components Writer's Guide.

Documentation license for this page: Open Publication License