ERTOS Student Projects General Information

The Group and its Working Environment

The projects advertised on these pages are set within the Embedded Operating Systems (ERTOS) research group at NICTA, the largest and most active Operating Systems research group in the southern hemisphere and the Asia-Pacific region and one of the foremost in the world.

As of 2009, the OS group consists of 5 research staff (all NICTA researchers and UNSW academics), 8 full-time or part-time technical staff (research engineers/assistants, one of them PhD-qualified), 11 PhD students, 1 ME student, and several undergraduate thesis students.

The group is located on Level 6 of NICTA's Neville Roach Lab (225 Anzac Parade, Kensington).

Our research activities extend from embedded systems via microkernels through virtualization to general issues of system architecture and system security. It is also interested in the investigation of architectural support for operating systems and languages. The group is well networked internationally and has collaborations and exchanges of visits with many leading private- and public-sector systems research groups.

We are well-equipped with state-of-the-art computing equipment, and have experience with a large range of computer architectures, from ARM to Itanium. The group is is home of the PLEB computer and other designs derived from it. Furthermore, we have modern testing and other lab equipment.

ERTOS research outcomes are being deployed in commercial products, and has a track record of getting Linux kernel patches accepted.

Systems

The project pages here refer to a number of systems we are working on. This is a short overview of them, with links to more information.

L4

... is an extremely small and high-performance operating system microkernel, under active development at Karlsruhe, Dresden and ERTOS. The DiSy group has in the past implemented the first 64-bit version (on MIPS, still holds the performance record for single-issue CPUs) and the first multiprocessor version (on Alpha) of this kernel. It is used as the basis of most of our embedded-systems work, and the Iguana and Mungi operating systems are based on it. A number of student projects use it, including Sunswift, the UNSW solar car, and BLUEsat, the UNSW student satellite project.

Most of our work uses seL4, the local research kernel, or OKL4, the commercial (but open-source) L4 version marketed by ERTOS spinout Open Kernel Labs and based on ERTOS research.

Linux

... needs no introduction. It is a second focus point of the group's research. Recent successes include the design and implementation of fast context switching on the StongARM processor (50 times faster than in standard Linux).