Electronic Design

A Change In The Wind (River)

The bastion of proprietary platforms, Wind River, is changing the form and function of its entire product line. Wind River's Enterprise Licensing Model (ELM) has a traditional royalty as well as a pure per-seat development subscription model, bringing it in line with most other embedded Linux and real-time operating-system vendors.

The company also has released VxWorks 6.0, which is a major upgrade that's still backwards-compatible with VxWorks 5.0. The latest version supports both memory-management-unit (MMU) and MMU-less processors. A new interprocess communication (IPC) bridges VxWorks and Linux. Thanks to error detection and reporting for the IPC system, high availability support can be implemented by developers. A new UNIX-style, real-time process system and application programming interface (API) make it even easier to work with both Linux and VxWorks environments. This alignment is key to Wind River's new direction, which embraces Linux and open-source tools.

The Wind Power IDE 2.0 is based on the open-source Eclipse development tool. It integrates tools now found in Wind River's Tornado development system. Wind River recently joined the Eclipse Consortium and is working to provide improved support for remote embedded development. It already includes a WindView visualization plug-in.

Tornado can still be used for application development, but Wind River developers with an ELM subscription will be able to migrate to Wind Power IDE at no cost. Wind Power has the advantage of supporting VxWorks, Linux, and a host of third-party tools, platforms, and operating systems.

Wind River continues to combine its tools, operating systems, and support packages into platform-oriented products. These will incorporate both VxWorks 6.0 and Wind Power IDE 2.0. Wind River's change of direction makes a lot of sense. Most developers will appreciate the improved integration with Linux.

Wind River Inc.

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