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Wind River Advances Embedded Linux

Real-Time Linux and More

  • October 18, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner
Sean Michael Kerner

Intel's Wind River software division is out this week with a new embedded Linux release that adds new carrier grade and workflow capabilities to the platform.

Wind River entered the Linux space in 2004 as an optional alternative embedded operating system to its own VxWorks embedded system. With Wind River Linux 4.0, the company is building on some of its past systems by extending real-time Linux capabilities. One such real-time capability comes in the form of the preempt_rt Linux kernel.

"Wind River Linux has supported PREEMPT_RT in various configurations since Wind River Linux 2.0 platforms," Paul Anderson, vice president of marketing and strategy for Linux products at Wind River told InternetNews.com. "We've continued this, but extended our support to include ARM and MIPS reference configurations. Wind River has integrated the latest stabilized features in the preempt_rt tree into our 2.6.34 kernel."

On the virtualization front, Anderson noted that there are a number of key improvements in Wind River Linux 4 including new hypervisor support options. Anderson noted that they have now included full integration with Wind River's own hypervisor which enables guest protection and separation.

Developer workflow has also been improved with enhanced integrations with Wind River's Workbench which is an Eclipse-based IDE.

"We have also redesigned and simplified the user space packages by logical and easy-to-use layers which improves user productivity and boosts performance," Anderson said. "It further helps customers simplify development of complicated software stacks. Different portions of the software stack can be kept separate, rather than mixing them together."

While Wind River has been enhancing its Linux platform over the last six years, it is still growing its proprietary VxWorks embedded operating system as well. According to Anderson, Wind River customers are increasingly using a combination of both VxWorks and Linux in their devices. Anderson explained that VxWorks is often chosen for specific safety and security certification compliance that is critical in industries including Aerospace and Defense, Industrial, Medical and Transportation.

"Linux tends to be popular where the above characteristics are not so critical and where a large ecosystem of new and evolving applications are needed," Anderson said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the networkfor technology professionals.

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