Using an RTOS, or perhaps considering an RTOS for your next project? In that case, we recommend reading our article RTOS Trends and Challenges by Percepio founder Dr. Johan Kraft, featured on

Priority inversion in an RTOS trace

The article discusses the strong RTOS trend in the embedded industry, including the motivations and fundamental challenges of using an RTOS, pitfalls that even caused NASA’s JPL some serious problems during the Mars Pathfinder mission.

The article also elaborates on the limitations of common development tools in the context of RTOS-based development and how this can be improved by specialized tool support that visualize the real-time behavior of RTOS-based systems.


“When using an RTOS, the control-flow of your program is no longer apparent from the source code, since the RTOS decides which task to execute at any given moment. This is a fundamental change, similar to the shift from assembly to C programming, as it allows for higher productivity using higher abstraction, but also means less control over the fine details.

This is a double-edged sword. It can make it easier to design complex applications, but these applications may subsequently turn out to be difficult to validate and debug. While an RTOS can reduce the complexity of the application source code, it does not reduce the inherent complexity of the application itself.”

Read the full article on