Kithara PCI Toolkit

Function Library for PCI Driver Development

Kithara PCI Toolkit provides all important mechanisms for rapid development of hardware drivers, especially for PCI/PCIe boards. By using the comprehensive and simply applicable API, access from the ordinary programming environment to the hardware components is possible as if a real device driver was developed with huge effort.

Via I/O ports, physical memory as well as handler for reactions to hardware interrupts, it is possible to address each hardware component of the PC system, as far as the access details are known. For the hardware-dependent programming all known bus types are supported: ISA, PCI, PCIe as well as PCMCIA, CardBus and ExpressCard.

Kithara PCI Toolkit provides functions for instantaneous access to I/O registers and physical memory of the PC hardware. Additionally, the processing of hardware interrupts at the application or kernel level is possible. Furthermore, it is possible to determine interface resources and the PCI configuration data.

Programming languages like C/C++, Delphi or C# are directly supported and the developers can work in their familiar programming environment during the entire development. Kithara PCI Toolkit provides a generic driver, which enables the developers a direct access to PCI/PCIe hardware resources.

For further information see Kithara Driver Collection. An individual combination of the function modules as well as real-time capability is provided by the Kithara RealTime Suite.

Technical details

  • Direct access to all I/O registers of the PC (8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit)
  • Direct access to physical memory
  • High-performance mechanisms for interrupt programming
  • Multiple handler per IRG installable
  • Generic WDM-driver for plug and play installation included
  • Unlimited distribution of the runtime files
  • Code execution on the kernel-level supported by C/C++ and Delphi
  • Kithara PCI Toolkit replaces the »Hardware Toolkit«

Kithara PCI Toolkit consists of following modules, which provides only the mentioned real-time capabilities if the module is part of the Kithara RealTime Suite.

Basic Functions

Base/Kernel Module

  • Supports the following operating systems: Windows 7, 8 and 10 (32 and 64 bit), Server 2008 R2 as well as Embedded versions
  • Supports PIC and APIC hardware, NUMA multi-processor PCs, Hyper-threading, multi-core etc.
  • Functions for: opening the driver, execution of real-time code at kernel level, real-time memory management, device handling, version information, debugging support, system information
  • Application threads, events, callbacks, shared memory, data and message pipes, fast mutex objects

Further information …

Hardware Access

IoPort Module

  • Access to all I/O registers of the PC application or DLL
  • Determination of the PCI configuration data and resource data

Further information …

Memory Module

  • Access to external physical memory (Dual-Port-RAM)
  • Provision of PC memory for external hardware (DMA memory)

Further information …

Interrupt Module

  • Processing of hardware interrupts at the application or kernel level
  • Use of the operating system mechanisms for interrupt processing
  • By using the RealTime Modules interrupts of PCI or PCIe Hardware can be processed

Further information …


Platforms

Real-time capability can only be achieved on the kernel level. For this purpose a programming language is required that is able to generate native x86 or x64 machine code, e. g. C/C++ or Delphi. Nevertheless Kithara RealTime Suite supports various platforms, for example a .NET environment. The solution is, to transfer the time-critical code into a DLL, which will be loaded directly into the real-time context at the kernel level. Kithara RealTime Suite provides all this functions. Instantly usable program frameworks for the platforms mentioned above are part of every software delivery.


System Requirements

The products of Kithara RealTime Suite support a wide range of hardware and software combinations. If you have questions regarding the system support, please contact us!

Operating system

The software supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7, 8 and 10, each 32 and 64 bit, dedicated mode
  • Windows Server 2012, 2015, 2017, dedicated mode
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 64 bit, dedicated mode

Hardware

The software runs on the following hardware:

  • CPU: AMD (Athlon) or Intel (Pentium 2), 32- or 64-bit
  • Dual- or multi-core; optional hyper-threading with multi-core, currently up to 48 logical CPUs, higher on request
  • ACPI recommended (Advanced Control and Power Interface), APIC recommended (Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller). Some features require ACPI-APIC
  • the PC must be able to support PAE (Page Address Extension)
  • Using Gigabit-Ethernet up to 40 Gbit/s, controller of Intel and RealTek are generally supported

Compiler

Immediately usable program frameworks for the following programming languages / compilers are included in the supplied software (other programming languages can be supported on request):

  • Visual Studio 20xx C++ with MFC user interface (supplied project files: VS 2010/12/13/15/17)
  • C++ Builder (Embarcadero, formerly Borland) VCL user interface
  • Delphi (Embarcadero, formerly Borland) VCL user interface
  • Visual Studio 20xx C# with WPF user interface (incl. C++ DLL for real-time execution, supplied project files: VS 2010/12/13/15/17)

In order to execute code in a real-time context, generally any compiler that can generate a DLL with native machine code, is usable. Furthermore, the Windows application can also be generated with other programming languages, such as C#.


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