Wind River Systems Inc. next month will debut Linux development tools for makers of devices that are embedded in specific types of hardware, such as telecommunications equipment and aerospace navigation systems.
Wind River says the tools will help manufacturers cut costs and time to market for embedded devices, and will allow CIOs to make such devices an integral and manageable part of their IT operations.
Embedded systems ultimately will be called on to connect with applications that run on enterprise computing systems, says John Bruggeman, Wind River's chief marketing officer. Linux is an increasingly appealing choice for companies because it runs on the small devices that used to be the exclusive domain of proprietary operating systems and on more conventional servers and desktops, he adds. "Linux and technology standards are permitting this blending of the embedded and enterprise worlds."
The Linux editions of Wind River's general-purpose and network-equipment development platforms are based on the Linux 2.6 kernel and the second version of the Open Source Development Labs' Carrier-Grade Linux specification. Although Linux already is used as an embedded operating system in some instances and there's growing interest in Linux as an operating system to run telecommunications networking devices, Wind River believes it's been underutilized in these areas.
Wind River isn't the only company promoting Carrier-Grade Linux, a set of specifications that outline the requirements that Linux must meet to serve as a telecom-industry operating system. MontaVista Software Inc. last week introduced the latest version of its Carrier-Grade Linux open-source operating system. Carrier-Grade Edition 4.0 is built on the latest Linux 2.6 kernel and is designed to give telecom-equipment makers the tools they need to build less-expensive yet highly available network components.
Wind River will continue to offer its proprietary real-time operating system and revealed Monday the availability of VxWorks 6.1. The company is perhaps best known for providing VxWorks to help NASA operate the Mars Spirit exploration rover. The company more recently has been working with Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide the device software foundation for the mission computer and vehicle-management computer on the X-47B portion of the government contractor's Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems program.