Utilizing a Remote Display Protocol on a Deeply Embedded System

S. Dissanaike and P. Wijkman (Sweden)


Remote Display Protocol, Embedded system, VNC, RDP, X-Window, Java


Deeply embedded systems have not traditionally been able to interact with a user using a graphical user interface (GUI). At best deeply embedded systems are able to control a simple text based LCD-display in order to interact with the user. An alternative way to display graphics is to utilize a remote display protocol. In this paper we examine the possibility to implement an open standard remote display protocol in a deeply embedded system. We refer to deeply embedded systems as an embedded system with an 8-bit microcontroller. We compare the well-established protocols Remote Display Protocol (RDP), X-Window and Virtual Network Computing (VNC). Our work shows that the VNC protocol is best suited for implementing on a deeply embedded system among these. Our implementation targets the lowest level in an industrial network e.g. the actuators/sensor level. We evaluate four different network/power technologies that target this level. Our intention was to enable a deeply embedded system at the actuators/sensor level to display graphics. We successfully implemented a basic VNC-server on a representative hardware platform and extracted information from a Capi2 network working at the actuators/sensor Level. The implementation has been effectively tested and used in a commercial environment.

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