RCfocus is an IDH (independent design house) created by Robert Chen. The major purpose is to provide electronic system integration design service for customers.

About Robert Chen

In 1996, as an E&E student in National Chiao-Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan, Robert took the course "Real-time Multi-tasking Micro Kernel" to learn the basic concept of OS kernel and learn how to design a RTOS. One year later, Robert was in charge of the maintenance of DSP laboratory and thought why not design a RTOS for DSP chip?

In 90s, most E&E engineers were very familiar with 8051, but the performance of 8051 is too slow to use RTOS. DSP chips can run up to 20MHz which should be able to afford the additional overhead of switching tasks. So, Robert started a personal project to design a dedicated RTOS for TI DSP. It is named PicOS for "pico operating system". The major feature is a micro-kernel uses as less memory as possible and useful IPC functionalities such as mutex, semaphore and message.

Several years later, Texas Instruments developed a dedicated ROTS called DSP/BIOS for their DSP chips. And years later, it was renamed to SYS/BIOS and now is integrated with TI-RTOS for more general purpose processors.

During the past 20+ years, Robert has used many SoCs to design products. Most of them are from Texas Instruments, for example, DSC20, DSC25, DM270, DM310, DM320, DM355, DM365, DM385, AM1808, MSP430F2232, MSP430G2232, MSP430F5340, MSP430F6638, MSP430FR6xxx, CC26xx, C28x... The CPU core is C54x, C55x, C28x, MSP430, ARM7, ARM9, Cortex-A8 and Cortex-M. In addition to DSP, Robert also ported PicOS to MSP430, ARM7, ARM9 and Cortex-M.

With PicOS, developing applications is very easy because the programming skill is no longer limited to "main loop + interrupts". A system can be designed as several "objects" and these objects can run in their own context (run-loop) and communicate with each other by various IPC methods.

Robert learned OOP (Object Oriented Programming) in 1997 when he was a student in NCTU. Over the past two decades, C++ is widely used in desktop systems. So, Robert also uses OOP in applications developed in Delphi, C++Builder and Qt. In 2015, Robert came out the idea to re-design PicOS to support C++ natively. So an object of a Task class can be created and the object will run in its context.

In 2000, after military service, Robert joined DigiRose Technology. The major task is to design a video capture card using C6000 DSP. The host is an embedded system running Linux. The target application is video surveillance.

In 2003, Robert joined Phison Electronics Corp and started to organize a new R&D department for multimedia applications. From 2004 to 2007, many portable media player (PMP) products are developed and sold by this department. The major applied SoC are DM270 and DM355.

In 2008, the department was split from Phison and became a new company, Flexmedia Electronics Corp. Flexmedia has been very successful in car-black-box business from 2009 to 2014. The major applied SoC are DM355 and DM367.

Though Robert was the chairman of Flexmedia, Phison is still the major share holder. At June 2015, Robert resigned from Flexmedia due to political struggle. Months later, Robert started this new IDH, RCfocus.

In March 2016, Robert is nominated as TI E2E Community MVP. Thanks to TI. At the same time, there are only 41 MVPs all around the world.