5.3. Uniprocessor Schedulers

All uniprocessor schedulers included in RTEMS are priority based. The processor is allocated to the highest priority task allowed to run.

5.3.1. Deterministic Priority Scheduler

This is the scheduler implementation which has always been in RTEMS. After the 4.10 release series, it was factored into a pluggable scheduler selection. It schedules tasks using a priority based algorithm which takes into account preemption. It is implemented using an array of FIFOs with a FIFO per priority. It maintains a bitmap which is used to track which priorities have ready tasks.

This algorithm is deterministic (e.g., predictable and fixed) in execution time. This comes at the cost of using slightly over three (3) kilobytes of RAM on a system configured to support 256 priority levels.

This scheduler is only aware of a single core.

5.3.2. Simple Priority Scheduler

This scheduler implementation has the same behaviour as the Deterministic Priority Scheduler but uses only one linked list to manage all ready tasks. When a task is readied, a linear search of that linked list is performed to determine where to insert the newly readied task.

This algorithm uses much less RAM than the Deterministic Priority Scheduler but is O(n) where n is the number of ready tasks. In a small system with a small number of tasks, this will not be a performance issue. Reducing RAM consumption is often critical in small systems that are incapable of supporting a large number of tasks.

This scheduler is only aware of a single core.

5.3.3. Earliest Deadline First Scheduler

This is an alternative scheduler in RTEMS for single-core applications. The primary EDF advantage is high total CPU utilization (theoretically up to 100%). It assumes that tasks have priorities equal to deadlines.

This EDF is initially preemptive, however, individual tasks may be declared not-preemptive. Deadlines are declared using only Rate Monotonic manager whose goal is to handle periodic behavior. Period is always equal to the deadline. All ready tasks reside in a single ready queue implemented using a red-black tree.

This implementation of EDF schedules two different types of task priority types while each task may switch between the two types within its execution. If a task does have a deadline declared using the Rate Monotonic manager, the task is deadline-driven and its priority is equal to deadline. On the contrary, if a task does not have any deadline or the deadline is cancelled using the Rate Monotonic manager, the task is considered a background task with priority equal to that assigned upon initialization in the same manner as for priority scheduler. Each background task is of lower importance than each deadline-driven one and is scheduled when no deadline-driven task and no higher priority background task is ready to run.

Every deadline-driven scheduling algorithm requires means for tasks to claim a deadline. The Rate Monotonic Manager is responsible for handling periodic execution. In RTEMS periods are equal to deadlines, thus if a task announces a period, it has to be finished until the end of this period. The call of rtems_rate_monotonic_period passes the scheduler the length of an oncoming deadline. Moreover, the rtems_rate_monotonic_cancel and rtems_rate_monotonic_delete calls clear the deadlines assigned to the task.

5.3.4. Constant Bandwidth Server Scheduling (CBS)

This is an alternative scheduler in RTEMS for single-core applications. The CBS is a budget aware extension of EDF scheduler. The main goal of this scheduler is to ensure temporal isolation of tasks meaning that a task’s execution in terms of meeting deadlines must not be influenced by other tasks as if they were run on multiple independent processors.

Each task can be assigned a server (current implementation supports only one task per server). The server is characterized by period (deadline) and computation time (budget). The ratio budget/period yields bandwidth, which is the fraction of CPU to be reserved by the scheduler for each subsequent period.

The CBS is equipped with a set of rules applied to tasks attached to servers ensuring that deadline miss because of another task cannot occur. In case a task breaks one of the rules, its priority is pulled to background until the end of its period and then restored again. The rules are:

  • Task cannot exceed its registered budget,

  • Task cannot be unblocked when a ratio between remaining budget and remaining deadline is higher than declared bandwidth.

The CBS provides an extensive API. Unlike EDF, the rtems_rate_monotonic_period does not declare a deadline because it is carried out using CBS API. This call only announces next period.