General introduction - SC12 @CHIP-RTOS V1.10

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Short general explanation

The name @CHIP-RTOS is used as the term for the operating system of the IPC@CHIP (most of older versions and manuals are still using the term BIOS).   For an overview of the provided features and the general architecture of the operating system see @CHIP-RTOS architecture.

The operating system is able to execute multiple (up to 12) DOS programs simultaneous.   Each program runs as a task of the RTOS kernel.   These 16 bit DOS programs can be created with a variety of development tools.   However, the instruction opcodes in these programs must be confined to the 80186 instruction set.   For C/C++ programming, Beck offers the Borland 5.02 development environment (see www.beck-ipc.com).

This document describes the Application Programmers Interface (API) of the @CHIP-RTOS.   It should be used as a reference manual for IPC@CHIP application programmers.   For a better understanding of this manual the reader should have some experience in programming DOS applications.

The document explains how to call every provided function of the @CHIP-RTOS from user application programs.   The API of the @CHIP-RTOS is structured into different sections (e.g. HARDWARE API, RTOS API, TCPIP API, ....).   All sections are listed as HTML-links on the main index page of this document.

For every API section the @CHIP-RTOS provides a software interrupt with different function numbers for every API call.   The software interrupt mechanism is the standard way for DOS programs to call internal functions of the operating system (e.g. file operations, reading/printing characters, .....).

Before calling the specified software interrupt with e.g. the standard C-Library call int86() or the Assembler instruction INT xx, every necessary function parameter must be loaded into the processor registers.   Each API call description details which parameters are required in the registers.   The @CHIP-RTOS uses the parameters from the processor registers and executes the corresponding function.   After the software interrupt execution some specified processor registers contains the return result(s) from the function.   The meaning of the return result(s) are also specified with each API call description.

At our download page under www.beck-ipc.com, we provide a collection of program examples, where the usage of API calls is demonstrated.
For a easier and more practical usage of the API, we provide a set of C-Libraries. This collection of C-Files and H-Files contains every API software interrupt call, implemented inside of a C-Function.   The application programmer can integrate these files at his program project and then call the appropriate C-function instead of directly calling the software interrupt.

You will find some useful general notes about programming DOS applications for the IPC@CHIP under Programming notes.

For some necessary knowledge about hardware details of the IPC@CHIP see the hardware manual available from the download area of www.beck-ipc.com.

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