Embedded computers are increasingly tighter integrated with each other forming distributed embedded systems that interact through a shared communication medium. Often these embedded systems perform services for safety-critical operations that require deterministic computation and predictable communication. However, since these systems are embedded, they must cope with limited resources. One fundamental challenge is to make efficient use of the shared communication medium, especially in the timed model, in which communication tends to cumulate at the end of harmonic periods of tasks.
In this article, we present an approach that uses Micro-tasks for splitting computation and communication into several sequentially executed steps to allow for better balanced load on the communication medium in the timed model. We discuss the approach and describe its implementation in OSEK/Works with TTCAN.