Real-Time Architecture

Redefining the boundary between software and silicon

fido is an acronym for flexible input, deterministic output. This captures two of the essential benefits of the architecture. "flexible input" refers to our UIC peripheral engine and "deterministic output" refers to the unique real-time and safety-critical features provided by the new architecture.

RTOS Kernel in a Chip

fido1100-block-diagram-contextAnalog Devices took a fresh approach to the design of the fido family. We moved some very specific Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) functions into the silicon to provide exceptional real-time control capability and to allow our customers to develop and debug their code much faster than is possible on conventional microcontrollers. Context switching, context management, scheduling, priority control and memory protection are all built-in to the fido chip. We call this capability "RTOS Kernel in a Chip" and it doesn't exist on other microcontrollers. For some applications, this capability eliminates the need for an RTOS altogether. For others, only a very small footprint RTOS may be needed.

"fido achieved better performance in terms of jitter, with a much more straightforward software implementation thanks to its innovative chip architecture."

- Schneider Electric, Grenoble

Programmable I/O

We took the exact opposite approach with our peripheral set. We made the I/O peripherals programmable so that almost any permutation of I/O protocols can be supported by a single fido part number. Customers told us that they are often forced to use multiple members of a microcontroller family to address different I/O requirements. This not only causes inventory management issues, since multiple part numbers have to be purchased and managed in relatively low quantities, but it also raises the obsolescence concern again. Exposure to multiple part numbers increases the likelihood of encountering an end of life notice with at least one of these parts. By allowing the user to select the peripheral functionality in software, one fido part number can address multiple product designs.

(The fido1100) "…includes some real innovation combined with some familiar and practical features"

- Jim Turley, Silicon Insider