I received my Master Degree in Computer Sciences a little over forty years ago. The subject of my thesis was a computer based testing system for the manufacturing floor of the company I was working for. Another engineer who developed the hardware and myself developed a system to test incoming chips and completed PC boards in manufacturing. A minicomputer stored the tests and the results so that we could not only screen bad items, but also collect data about batches of incoming parts.
A wiser person than myself may have productize it and started a company. Three days ago I spoke with Bob Potock, VP of Marketing at Kozio. The company, based in Longmont Colorado has developed and sells an operating system that specifically provide testing capabilities to both development and manufacturing to allow the verification of hardware systems. I spoke with Bob because Kozio had just released a new product, VTOS Builder to complement its VTOS product. With this latest product release, a cost effective alternative to internally developed test programs is now available.
This release closes the gap in the hardware design chain with a user configurable special purpose Verification and Test OS (VTOS). Today’s embedded hardware design tools do not address the hardware prototype test and verification process, creating a tool gap between design creation and production test. When the first prototype arrives, VTOS provides the test platform to verify a new design and debug problems. With VTOS, a new prototype can be tested for design correctness and production readiness in less than one week, maintains Kozio. The design can confidently be handed over to the software team for application development. With VTOS Builder, hardware engineers can easily configure VTOS for new prototype hardware.
VTOS is user configurable and can be loaded and running on custom hardware easily. VTOS Builder allows VTOS to be configured utilizing the power of a device tree without compilation. No OS porting is required. New components can easily be added and device parameters can be configured by editing the device tree. VTOS Builder then configures a new VTOS ready to boot utilizing U-Boot or JTAG. VTOS can be up and running on custom hardware in 30 minutes.