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Windows CE und F3S

Windows Embedded

Windows Embedded offers a comprehensive compilation of operating systems and tools, helping product and device manufacturers to shorten the development period and to rise the product performance. The Windows Embedded product family covers the complete field of embedded systems and is divided in segments: CE (Consumer Electronics, today: Compact), Standard, Automotive, POSReady, Handheld, Enterprise and Server.

In 2000 we started developing with Windows CE 3.0 on the ARM based Single Board Computers of the NetDCU family. Since that day we could extend our competences regarding the real time-capable Windows CE and today we can look back on more than 10 years of successful use and new product families.

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More than 10 Years of Experience in Windows CE

Our customers receive a WCE/ WEC perfectly customized for our product families armStone, nanoRISC, NetDCU, PicoMOD, PicoCOM and QBliss. Another important advantage for developers is, that they do not need to deal with the time-consuming and work-intensive task of operating system adaption. They can concentrate on their core competences and start immediatly with product development. Thereby they can rely on powerful and tested software components. Our customers get support on the phone from our soft- and hardware experts or also via the technical support forum. Our workshops enable a quick access to handling and programming WCE/ WEC. Our products are delivered with pre-installed bootloader and WCE/ WEC. We offer different configurations of the operating system as downloads, which can get installed subsequently. Additionally we can create perfectly customized and project-specific versions for our customers.



  • Windows Embedded Kernel (Standard, Professional and project-specific)
  • Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Device Driver
  • Documentation
  • Technical Support Forum
  • Examples
  • Workshops
    These helpful workshops make your access to WCE/ WEC and your board even more easier. The goal of the workshop is to get introduced to handling the board and the development area.

Windows Embedded CE/ Windows Embedded Compact is highly performant, extremely reliable and real time-capable.

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Windows Embedded Compact (CE) Architektur

Windows Embedded Compact is the further development of Windows Embedded CE. Compact is a scalable real-time operating system. It is used in a variety of devices in the areas of Consumer Electronics, medicine and industry, where a lean and resource-saving operating is a major point.

Among these tools, which are available for the developer (OEM), Windows Embedded Compact 7 offers tools for application developers to design powerful and flexible software.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded, an UI Framework embedded in Compact 7, combines the flexibility of declarative UIs with the efficiancy of native code. Silverlight for Windows Embedded is based on Silverlight v3.0 and offers software developers and designers the creation and maintenance of device UIs via Expression Blend.

Compact 7 has a new version of Internet Explorer, based on the same core like the Microsoft Phone 7. It supports Flash 10.1, panning and zooming, multi-touch and the use of bookmarks and Thumbnails.

F3S - The robust File System by F&S Elektronik Systeme

Single Board Computers with Windows CE generally use the file system FAT32. This file system operates with allocation tables (FAT). If an electrical power outage occurs during a writing cycle, the FAT and also the file itself can be damaged (inconsistent state). As a last resort it is necessary to reformat the storage. With the file system TFAT from Microsoft you can avoid damaging the allocation table but not the data within a file itself.

F&S has developed the Failsafe Flash File System (F3S) which is designed especially for NAND-Flash-Memories. In contrary to other file systems it is able to guarantee a reliability in transaction on file-level. The user has the option to define the point of validation of modified data. In easiest case by closing the file-handle. In this way important data can be stored permanently and safely.

  • Modifying file contents can only be accepted in completed operations (state-transistion).
  • During modification, transistions can also be accomplished by using explicit calls within the application.

Because of the unique, transaction-based concept, it is fundamentally robust against unexpected electrical power outages.

In this way important data can be stored permanently and safely.


Product details


F3S is available for NetDCU and PicoCOM (Windows CE 4.2/ 5.0/ 6.0). It is able to exchange FAT filesystems and can also be applied using 2 partitions simultaneously. F3S belongs to the family of log-structured filesystems.

Each time a writing operation is finished, the file gets a special marking and can be used without problems. Finishing a transaction can be achieved by one of the following conditions:

  • The file is closed CloseFile()
  • All used file-buffers should be flushed
  • When the WRITE_THROUGH-flag is set, a transaction is closed after each writing operation

Further attributes

  • Loss of file structure can be ruled out (by disclaiming usage of allocation tables)
  • Full replacement of the FAT file system
  • Optimized throughput on all file operations
  • Wear-Leveling strategies to reduce flash abrasion (including Garbage Collector)
  • Tansaction-based concept already cooperates with a lot of applications and
    protects data-modifications (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server database)


In contrary to conventional file systems for Windows CE, F3S is set to take advantage of flash memory characteristics. Thereby the physically required writing operations are minimized. This improves the transfer rate of writing operations dramatically. At the same time it also reduces wearing of flash memory and thereby enhances its (limited) lifetime.

➜ F3S - Failsafe Flash Filesystem Flyer