Our products form a comprehensive suite of modern embedded software and host-based tools wrapped around the QP™ Real-Time Embedded Frameworks (RTEFs) — the unique reactive platform designed to provide the architectural reuse and enforcement of the best practices of concurrent programming, which leads to safer code with high conceptual integrity and dramatic improvement of software quality.
QP™ (Quantum Platform) is a family of lightweight Real-Time Embedded Frameworks (RTEFs) for building reactive embedded software as systems of asynchronous event-driven active objects (actors). The QP™ family consists of QP/C, QP/C++, and QP-nano frameworks, which are all strictly quality controlled, thoroughly documented, and available in full source code.
The behavior of active objects is specified in QP™ by means of hierarchical state machines (UML statecharts). The QP™ frameworks support manual coding of UML state machines in C or C++ as well as Model-Based Design (MBD) and automatic code generation by means of the free QM™ Model-Based Design tool.
All QP™ RTEFs can run on bare-metal single-chip microcontrollers, completely replacing a traditional RTOS. The frameworks contain a selection of built-in real-time kernels (RTOS kernels), such as the cooperative QV kernel, the preemptive non-blocking QK kernel, and the unique preemptive, dual-mode (blocking/non-blocking) QXK kernel. Native QP ports and ready-to-use examples are provided for ARM Cortex-M (M0/M0+/M3/M4F/M7) as well as other CPUs.
QP/C and QP/C++ RTEFs can also work with many traditional RTOSes and desktop OSes (such as Linux and Windows).
With over 30,000 downloads a year from SourceForge alone and even greater number of downloads from GitHub, the QP™ RTEF family is the most popular such solution on the embedded software market. It provides a modern, reusable architecture of embedded applications, which combines the active-object model of concurrency with hierarchical state machines. This architecture is generally safer, more responsive and easier to understand than shared-state concurrency of a conventional Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). It also provides higher level of abstraction and the right abstractions to effectively apply modeling and code generation to deeply embedded systems, such as ARM Cortex-M-based microcontrollers.
|Most Recent Version (Revision History) /
Latest Release Date
|Intended target systems /
|Programming language||C (C90)||C++ (C++03)||C (C90)|
|Code (ROM) / Data (RAM) footprint||4KB / 1KB||5KB / 1KB||2KB / 0.5KB|
|Supported by the free QM™ Model-Based Design tool|
|Maximum number of active objects||64||64||8|
|Dynamic events with arbitrary parameters||0..4 bytes|
|Automatic event recycling||not needed|
|Direct event posting (FIFO)|
|Direct event posting (LIFO)|
|Publish-Subscribe event delivery|
|Number of system clock tick rates||0..15||0..15||0..3|
|Number of time events per active object||Unlimited||Unlimited||1 per tick rate|
|Hierarchical State Machines (QHsm-strategy)|
|Hierarchical State Machines (QMsm-strategy)|
|Sub-machines and sub-machine states|
|Cooperative kernel (QV)|
|Preemptive non-blocking kernel (QK)|
|Preemptive blocking dual-mode kernel (QXK)|
|Portable to 3rd-party RTOS kernels|
|Available port to POSIX (Linux, etc.)|
|Available port to Windows|
|QP/Spy™ software tracing|
|QUTest™ Unit Testing Harness|
|Source Code Quality|
|PC-Lint/FlexeLint support package|
|Open Source Licensing (GPL)|
|Closed Source (Commercial) Licensing|
QM™ (QP Modeler) is a freeware Model-Based Design (MBD) and automatic code generation tool for software based on the QP™ Real-Time Embedded Frameworks and hierarchical state machines (UML statecharts). QM™ is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.
QTools™ is a collection of various open source host-based tools for working with the QP frameworks, such as: QP/Spy™ software tracing and testing system, QWin™ GUI toolkit for prototyping embedded systems on Windows, QClean™ for cleanup of source code files, QFSGen™ for generating ROM-based file systems for embedded web servers, QCalc™ programmer's calculator, etc. The QTools collection for Windows provides also the MinGW C/C++ compiler (GNU GCC) and GNU
make for Windows, as well as the related file utilities (
QP/Spy™ is a software tracing and testing system built into the QP/C and QP/C++ Real-Time Embedded Frameworks. QP/Spy consists of the code instrumentation inside QP/C and QP/C++ and the console application called QSPY (available for Windows, Linux and macOS hosts). The job of QP/Spy is to receive the trace data produced by an instrumented QP/C or QP/C++ application running on an embedded Target, visualize the data, and optionally to save the data in various formats (such as MATLAB or MscGen). QP/Spy can also send commands to the Target for unit testing (QUTest™) and monitoring (QSpyView™).
The QSPY host application is easily adaptable to various target-host communication links. Out of the box, the QSPY host application supports serial (RS232), TCP/IP, and file communication links. Adding other communication links is straightforward, because the data link is accessed only through a generic Platform Abstraction Layer (PAL).
QUTest™ (pronounced cutest) is a powerful Unit Testing Harness, which is specifically designed for deeply embedded systems, but also supports unit testing of embedded code on host computers ("dual targeting"). QUTest™ is the fundamental tooling for Test-Driven Development (TDD) of QP/C/C++ applications, which is a highly recommended best-practice.
QUTest™ separates the execution of the CUT (Code Under Test) from checking of the test expectations. The embedded target is concerned only with running a test fixture that exercises the CUT and produces QP/Spy™ trace, but it does not check the "test assertions". Generating test inputs and checking the "test assertions" against the expectations is performed on the host computer by means of test scripts, which are written in Python.
QSpyView™ is a powerful visualization and monitoring facility, which allows embedded developers to rapidly create virtual Graphical User Interfaces to monitor and control their embedded devices from a host (desktop) computer. The interfaces created by QSpyView™ can visualize the tracing data produced by QP/Spy™ and can also send various commands to the embedded target.
Dual Targeting is a powerful technique for avoiding the "target system bottleneck" in embedded software development. Dual targeting simply means that from day one, your embedded code (typically in C or C++) is designed to run on at least two platforms: the final target hardware and your PC. All you really need for this is two C compilers: one for the PC and another for the embedded device. The dual targeting strategy does require a specific way of designing the embedded software such that any target hardware dependencies are handled through a well-defined interface. The QP RTEFs support Dual Targeting by providing ready-to-use ports that run on the desktop platforms, such as Windows and POSIX (Linux, MacOS).
QWin™ is a simple GUI toolkit for prototyping (dual-targeting) embedded systems on Windows in the C programming language. QWin™ allows you to build realistic embedded front panels consisting of LCD displays (both graphical and segmented), buttons, and LEDs. QWIN is based on the raw Win32 API to provide direct mapping to C for easy integration with embedded code.
QP Development Kits (QDKs) are separate QP ports and examples for various embedded processors, toolsets, and boards.
Starting with QP release 5.4.0, all officially supported ports and examples are bundled into the QP downloads, as opposed to being distributed as separate QP Development Kits (QDKs). The QDKs released for earlier QP versions are called "legacy-QDKs" and are available for download from .
All "legacy QDKs" are distributed in ZIP archives named according to the following general convention:
qdkxxxdenotes the QP framework type, whereas
qdkcstands for QDK for QP/C,
qdkcppfor QP/C++, and
<cpu>denotes a QDK for standalone QP for the given embedded CPU type, such as AVR, M16C, R8C, etc.
<rtos>denotes a QDK for QP running on top of a given RTOS, such as eCos, VxWorks, etc.
<toolset>denotes a port to specific toolset, such a IAR, GNU, Renesas, etc.
<board>denotes that the examples are for the specified boards, such as SKP3607, YRDKRX62N, etc.
<version>denotes the compatible version of the QP framework.
<version>of the QP framework. A QDK might work with the newer QP version as well, but might require some modifications.
The installation procedure for most "legacy QDKs" is as follows:
<version>. For example, if your QDK file starts with
qdkcpp_and ends with
_4.5.02, you should download and install QP/C++ version 4.5.02.
qdkcpp_avr-iar_4.5.02, you should copy the content of this directory inside the QP/C++ installation folder (typically, inside
C:/qp/qpcpp/). Note that you will need to give your consent to overwrite the already existing directories
Every "legacy QDK" contains the "QDK Manual" in PDF in the main directory of the ZIP archive.