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Company History and Milestones

Kithara Software has existed successfully for 20 years now, accumulating a lot of histories and experiences. However, in order for us to be as time-efficent as our software, we will present on tis page a concise overview of the company's core developments that are especially relevant for the current state.

1996

The first steps of Kithara were developer tools for hardware-dependent programming under Windows 95. The "Hardware Toolkit" allowed for the development of device drivers through access to I/O ports, physical memory as well as interrupt handling. With the "Timer Toolkit", it was possible to implement high-resolution timer routines at kernel level.

1998

The "Serial Toolkit" provided real-time serial communication for all available COM interfaces, now also on Windows NT. Even though the toolkits mentioned above are not supported by Kithara anymore, a lot of their functions have since been partially incorporated into the modules of the »RealTime Suite«.

2000

The first version of the "DOS Enabler" allowed for pure MS-DOS applications to run on Windows operating systems. Thanks to the absence of virtualizations, DOS could also be utilized with real-time capabilities. 15 years later, due to popular demand, the new "DOS Enabler" this functionality has been available for modern Windows systems and with greatly improved real-time performance.

2002

Available even today, the "Driver Collection" combines the different developer tools for hardware-dependent programming and provides them in a heavily optimized bundle. Also starting this year, Windows XP ranked among the list of supported operating systems.

2004

The structure of the Kithara real-time system was revised completely in 2004. This included an entirely new sample concept, the rework of the setup as well as the possibility to load a DLL into the real-time context in order to execute appication code at kernel level.

2006

With the development of high-frequency timers, the guaranteed reaction times of the »RealTime Suite« was drastically improved, up to "hard" real-time capabilties. With timer frequencies of >100 kHz, a maximum jitter of just a few micro seconds could be achieved. Also developed in 2006, the Kernel Tracer, even today, represents the most important resource regarding error analysis as well as debugging, for Kithara and customers alike.

2008

Kithara's popular network drivers for real-time ethernet communication are among the most crucial developments in the field of industrial networking. The subsequent creation of the EtherCAT Master ranks as one of the central elements of the »RealTime Suite« today and represents the company's major venture into the field of industrial automation. At the same time, the Kithara real-time system was extended with a high-perfromance multitasking environment. For the first time, the »RealTime Suite«, as a priority-base preemptive multitasking system, is now equal to a pure RTOS regarding performance and function range.

2010

In 2010, Kithara begins to point its view towards specialized industrial fields, such as machine vision. For the immediate capture of image data with industrial cameras, the gigabit-ethernet-based interface GigE Vision® was now supported as part of the real-time extension.

2012

After the topic of image capture, image processing in real-time was the logical consequence. With the support of the image processing library Halcon, and later OpenCV as well, immediate control reactions to incoming image data can be applied. Meanwhile, the development for USB3 Vision™ cameras was started.

2014

With automotive engineering, Kithara entered another large industrial field. Real-time capabilities of the automotive bus systems CAN-FD, FlexRay and LIN are mainly aimed at test system manufacturers and suppliers, who need to meet the requirements of an increasing automotive networking. In order to fulfill the growing demand for Kithara products, the first international representations in the USA and China are formed.