VxWorks has been a key piece of technology for embedded designs, and VxWorks 7 provides a secure microkernel as small as 20Kbytes to run edge nodes in the Internet of Things. Networking stacks can be added for connectivity up to around 100Kbytes.
A combination of the microkernel and the standard kernel, built on the same VxWorks platform, allows designers to reduce development and maintenance costs by using one RTOS across different cores, big and small. Wind River’s owner Intel is taking this approach with different versions of its Quark core. It can be also be applied across different classes of connected devices, from small-footprint consumer wearables to large networking equipment and everything in between.
“Our goal with the IoT with the concept of big core and small core you need a microkernel and a small kernel with the stacks on top,” said Prashant Dubal, product director for VxWorks. “That’s around 100kbytes but there’s a fine line before you go to the standard kernel and while we want to fill the gap we don’t want to create a new operating system. The microkernel is very useful for smaller medical devices, IoT, it’s a perfect match for the wearable market with Bluetooth Low energy with a very small IP stack and for those smaller 32bit microcontrollers that are geared to sensors and nodes – we are not limiting that to Intel: our goal is Arm and Intel.”
A new modular approach allows customers to apply targeted, efficient upgrades to packages and protocols without changing the system core which minimizes testing and recertification efforts and allows customers to sustain their systems on the cutting edge of technology.
Version 7 also includes comprehensive set of built-in security features includes secure data storage, tamper proof design, secure upgrade, root of trust, and user and policy management as well as a secure bootloader with hooks into ARM’s TrustZone..
“The IoT has significantly changed the embedded landscape,” said Dinyar Dastoor, vice president of product management at Wind River. “An RTOS must deliver not only the expected core real-time, deterministic performance and reliability, but an entirely new level of value that is demanded by the highly connected, security conscious, remotely-managed IoT world. Our game-changing release of VxWorks 7 and the reinvention of the basic RTOS is a demonstration of our commitment to help companies address the new challenges and opportunities in IoT.”
This version adds support for a broad range of industry-leading standards and protocols such as USB, CAN, Bluetooth, FireWire, and Continua, as well as out-of-the-box, high-performance networking capabilities. The graphics ready platform includes a new highly efficient stack based on the published OpenVG API, hardware-assisted graphics drivers and the Tilcon graphics designer tool as well as OpenGL ES support.
“OEMs are already responding to the business opportunities and technical requirements driven by the emergence of the Internet of Things,” said Chris Rommel, executive vice president of M2M & embedded technology at VDC Research. “Many of these connected systems require operating systems that offer more flexibility and scalability – while maintaining the determinism needed for mission-critical applications. The new capabilities found within VxWorks 7 address this evolving industry need and should help Wind River maintain its position of leadership within the RTOS market.”