Feeds

Intel's Wind River tweaks embedded OS for Core i7

SMP and AMP goodies for VxWorks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

When Intel shelled out $884m to buy embedded software supplier Wind River Systems last year, the company did so because it had big plans to expand into the embedded computing market with its own processors. But the embedded space has a number of compete architectures, and Intel is in the uncomfortable position of having to support them all as Wind River has for years.

To that end, Wind River has duly launched VxWorks 6.8. VxWorks is Wind River's home-grown real-time operating system. It stands beside Wind River Linux 3.0, the company's real-time Linux variant, and the new commercialized variant of the Android Linux-for-handsets that Wind River announced a month ago.

Wind River is billed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, presumably assuring its partners of its continued independence (much as EMC does with its VMware virtualization juggernaut).

Among the many products that use VxWorks are the Apache Longbow attack helicopter, the radar system in the F-18 Super Hornet, and various drone aircraft made by Northrup Grumman. VxWorks is slated to be deployed in the 747-8 and 787 aircraft from Boeing and the Airbus A400M Airlifter, and will also be used in NASA's Ares I manned rocket and Ares V cargo rocket for guidance, navigation, and other control systems.

To date, Wind River's various OSes have been deployed in over 500 million devices since its first real-time operating system was delivered in 1981, and is supported on x86, x64, MIPS, PowerPC, ColdFire, i960, SH4, and a wide array of ARM-derived processors.

With VxWorks 6.8, Wind River is adding support for Intel's Core i7 processors (a whole slew of embedded versions of the Core i3/5/7 chips debuted yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas). The new version also supports ARM MPCore and Cortex A9, Freescale QorIQ P2020, Cavium 54XX, 55XX, 56XX, 57XX, 58XX, and Raza Microelectronics XLR and XLS embedded processors.

The release has tweaks to the symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) parts of the VxWorks kernel, including SMP core reservation, which allows for a single core in a multicore system to be allocated for a single process and be isolated from other processes and cores.

The VxWorks real-time operating system can also implement asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) configurations, which are important for weapons systems and other kinds of embedded controllers where absolute isolation between workloads has to be maintained, but applications need to be able to communicate.

With SMP configurations, a single operating system spans the hardware and lets multiple applications take advantage of all the threads available to run workloads; with AMP setups, each application is paired up with its own instance of the VxWorks or Linux OS and they talk to each other using the VxWorks multicore interprocess communication (MIPC) communication stack.

With VxWorks 6.8, Wind River is adding spinlocks to its AMP configurations. spinlocks are a kind of holding pattern for instructions that allows them to keep executing while they wait for resources, allowing for instructions to not have to be stalled and rescheduled. The update also has a new small-footprint aimed at ARM processors, commonly used in handsets and now smartbooks. Not that either of these will be running VxWorks any time soon. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?