Wind River Systems

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"Windriver" redirects here. For the Windows driver suite, see Jungo WinDriver.

Coordinates: 37°46′52″N 122°15′43″W / 37.78116°N 122.26195°W / 37.78116; -122.26195

Wind River Systems Inc.
Type subsidiary
Founded 1981
Headquarters Alameda, California
Key people Barry Mainz, President
Revenue US$359.7 million (FY ended Jan 31 2009) [1]
Employees 1,800+[2] (11/2012)
Parent Intel

Wind River Systems, Inc. is a company providing a comprehensive embedded system software portfolio which comprises run-time software, industry-specific software solutions, simulation technology, development tools and middleware.[3] The company was founded in Berkeley, California in 1981 by Jerry Fiddler and David Wilner. On June 4, 2009, Wind River announced that Intel had bought the company for a reported $884 million.[4] Wind River continues to exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. It‘s product portfolio is supported by global professional services and support,[5] and a broad partner ecosystem.[6]


Wind River concentrates on middleware: software and operating systems for information appliances and devices for intelligent connected systems. Wind River’s technologies are used in a wide range of markets including: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Energy, Industrial, Medical, Consumer Electronics and Networking & Communications.[7] Their products are used in industrial and transportation systems such as factory automation, robotics, rail transport, smart grids; military systems such as unmanned vehicles and military communications, telecommunication infrastructure equipment such as routers; automotive systems such as connected in-vehicle infotainment, digital cluster displays, telematics, braking systems; consumer devices such as multifunction printers. digital cameras, projectors, set-top boxes, traffic signals aircraft and aerospace systems such as Mars rovers MER-A and MER-B.[8]

Among their flagship products are the VxWorks real-time operating system, the Wind River Linux operating system, and the Eclipse-based Wind River Workbench IDE. VxWorks began as an add-on to the VRTX operating system in the early 1980s. Wind River Workbench superseded the previous Tornado environment.[9]

Wind River's head offices are located at 500 Wind River Way, Alameda, California. The company’s corporate umbrella message is focused on the critical role of software for the Internet of Things (IoT).[10]


Wind River Systems was formed by a partnership of Jerry Fiddler[11] and Dave Wilner.[12][13] In 1981, Fiddler had come out of Berkeley Labs[14] to write software for control systems, but wanted to pursue a career in computer generated music,[15] which he funded through a consultancy business focused on real-time. His early clients included the National Football League and film director Francis Ford Coppola — for whom he designed a unique film editing system.[16] Wilner, a former colleague at Berkeley, joined Fiddler and they formed a partnership called Wind River Systems (named after Wind River, Wyoming, where Fiddler had vacationed that year).

Some of the key milestones are:[17][18]

1983: Wind River is incorporated in 1983 with each partner contributing $3,000 and a desk to the business.

1987: Wind River introduces VxWorks, now the de facto real-time operating system for embedded devices.

1995: VxWorks launches into space on the NASA Clementine moon probe. Also, the Tornado integrated development environment is launched and wins EDN’s Embedded Development Software Innovation of the Year award as the first graphically oriented development environment for embedded.

1997: VxWorks, the real-time operating system for NASA’s Mars Pathfinder mission, lands on Mars.[19]

1999: Acquisition of one of their major competitors, Integrated Systems Inc., makers of pSOS. Wind River has since discontinued the pSOS product line and has recommended existing pSOS customers move to VxWorks

2004: Wind River officially enters the embedded Linux market,[20] with a Carrier Grade Linux platform targeting the networking & communications infrastructure industry. Also, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, powered by VxWorks,[21] land on Mars. Wind River helped in manufacturing the IntelliStar for The Weather Channel. The IntelliStar is used at Cable Headends to insert Local Weather into The Weather Channel's national programming.

2007: Wind River joins Google’s Open Handset Alliance as an original Linux commercialization partner.[22]

2008: Wind River establishes the embedded Linux market share lead with greater than 30 percent of total market revenue, four years after entering the market.[23]

2009: Intel acquires Wind River for approximately $884 million and it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. Wind River launches a commercial Android software platform. Wind River becomes a founding member of the GENIVI Alliance.

2010: Wind River adds Simics,[24] a full system simulator, to its product portfolio. VxWorks becomes the first RTOS to be certified under Wurldtech’s Achilles certification program,[25], a standard for industrial cyber security. Wind River partners with Intel and the Linux Foundation to create the Yocto Project,[26] an open source collaboration project providing templates, tools and methods to help developers create embedded Linux-based systems.

2011: VDC Research names Wind River the embedded market leader; including title of traditional RTOS market leader for its complete portfolio of products and services for the 2nd consecutive year, led by its VxWorks RTOS; and as the embedded Linux market leader for the 3rd consecutive year for its Wind River Linux platform and related solutions.[27]

2012: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) successfully lands Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, powered by Wind River technology.[21] Wind River debuts software platform targeted at gateways and hubs for the Internet of Things.

2013: Wind River becomes part of Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG), but remains a wholly-owned subsidiary.[28]

2014: Wind River introduces its commercial, carrier grade software platform for network functions virtualization (NFV) applications, as well as its next-generation VxWorks platform reinvented for the Internet of Things.[29][30]



Main article: VxWorks

VxWorks is the original product of Wind River. It is a real-time operating system intended for embedded devices. It runs on many architectures, and supports features such as SMP, IPv6, TIPC and memory protection.

Wind River Linux[edit]

Wind River's Linux product is source code and a build system that generate runtime images suitable for embedded devices. It supports a variety of architectures, including ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, IA32 and SPARC.

In 2004, Wind River announced a partnership with Red Hat to create a new Linux-based distribution for embedded devices.[31] Wind River has since ended its partnership with Red Hat and now ships its own Linux distribution optimized for embedded Linux development.

Wind River released the first version of its embedded Linux distribution, Platform for Network Equipment - Linux Edition (PNE-LE) 1.0 in 2005.[32] It was registered against the Carrier Grade Linux 2.0 specification and supported IA32 and PPC architectures. They added other platforms in subsequent releases, General Purpose Platform - Linux Edition (GPP-LE) and Platform for Consumer Devices - Linux Edition PCD-LE) starting in version 1.4.

On March 16, 2009, Wind River announced Wind River Linux 3.0.[33]

On February 20, 2007, FSMLabs' embedded market was acquired by Wind River Systems. Wind River maintains the free versions of RTLinux previously offered by FSMLabs;[citation needed] and Wind River committed to continue to offer the FSMLab approach to RTLinux as part of their product line rebranded as Wind River Real-Time Core for Wind River Linux.

On August 7, 2007, Palm Inc. announced that it had chosen Wind River Systems as the software solution for its (later aborted) Palm Foleo.

In 2008, Wind River announced cooperation with BMW, Intel and Magneti Marelli for development of a Linux-based open-source platform to control in-car electronics,[34] which was extended in the GENIVI Alliance in 2009.[35]


Wind River acquired the software assets of Berkeley Software Design Inc. (BSDI) in 2001. These comprised the BSD/OS operating system, plus involvement in the FreeBSD open source project.[36] The FreeBSD unit was divested as a separate entity in 2002 as FreeBSD Mall, Inc.[37]

Faced with competition from the open source FreeBSD and Linux-based operating systems, Wind River discontinued BSD/OS in December 2003. However, by this time some technology from BSD/OS had been contributed to the open source BSD community.[38]

Wind River (Diab) Compiler[edit]

Wind River acquired Dataindustrier AB's Diab Compiler as part of its acquisition of Integrated Systems Inc.[citation needed] Originally designed by Wind River's current CTO, Tomas Evensen, it is now available as part of Wind River's VxWorks platforms. It can also be licensed separately for non-VxWorks users. The compiler supports PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, SH, ColdFire, TriCore, Intel, and mcore architectures.

Tilcon Graphics Suite[edit]

Tilcon Software Limited was acquired by Wind River in 2009. The Tilcon software consists of a graphical user interface builder - a tool that runs on a Windows or Linux host - and a GUI engine that runs on an embedded processor that renders graphics through a number of different standard graphics libraries. The Tilcon software supports VxWorks, Linux and Windows operating systems.


The Simics full-system simulator was added to Wind River's product portfolio after the acquisition of Virtutech by Intel in 2010.



As of 2009, their competitors include:


Wind River sponsors the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) WonderCup Challenge, a San Francisco Bay Area science knowledge competition for high school students.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Company Overview of Wind River Systems, Inc.,Bloomberg
  4. ^ Intel to Acquire Wind River Systems for Approximately $884 Million
  5. ^ Esterel Technologies & Wind River Partnership, Esterel Technologies webpage
  6. ^ Wind River article, LSI webpage
  7. ^ Wind River’s Partner Ecosystem, Imbedded Intel Solutions
  8. ^ Inside NASA’s Curiosity: It’s an Apple Airport Extreme… with wheels,ExtremeTech
  9. ^ Company Overview of Wind River Systems, Inc., Bloomberg Businessweek
  10. ^ Wind River Introduces Industry Profiles for Next-Generation VxWorks Real-Time Operating System, SYS-CON MEDIA
  11. ^ Jerry Fiddler Profile
  12. ^ Software On Board Mars Pathfinder Has Berkeley Lab Ties Berkeley Labs NewsletterAugust 8, 1997
  13. ^ Jerry Fiddler and Dave Wilner at Berkely Labs Photo from 1997
  14. ^ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 1983
  15. ^ Lord of the Toasters, Wired (magazine) interview with Jerry Fiddler, September 1, 1994
  16. ^ Embedded Systems: Jerry Fiddler Change is music to his ears EE Times interview 1998
  17. ^ Company Histories, Funding Universe
  18. ^ Company Overview of Wind River Systems, Inc., Bloomberg Businessweek
  19. ^ "Wind River Powers Mars Exploration Rovers--Continues Legacy as Technology Provider for NASA's Space Exploration". Wind River Systems. 2003-06-06. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  20. ^ Linux to Power Wind River Sails, IT Business News
  21. ^ a b Inside NASA’s Curiosity: It’s an Apple Airport Extreme… with wheels, ExtremeTech
  22. ^ "Industry Leaders Announce Open Platform for Mobile Devices". Open Handset Alliance. 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  23. ^ Intel's Wind River Claims Lead in Embedded Linux,
  24. ^ Wind River to Add Virtutech Simics Products to Comprehensive Embedded Software Portfolio
  25. ^ Wind River Introduces World’s First Wurldtech Achilles,Bloomberg
  26. ^ Wind River Enhances Market-Leading Embedded Linux Platform to Further Support Open Source Innovation, Market Watch
  27. ^ Wind River Recognized as Embedded Market Leader in VDC Research Report Series, Reuters
  28. ^ Intel Creates Internet of Things Group, EETimes
  29. ^ Wind River Unveils Industry’s First Commercial Carrier Grade Platform for NFV, Businesswire
  30. ^ Wind River Outfits VxWorks for the Internet of Things, Computer World
  31. ^,-Red-Hat-team-on-embedded-Linux/2100-7344_3-5163122.html
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ BMW wants joint effort to develop open-source in-vehicle platform
  35. ^ Myslewski, Rik (5 March 2009). "Intel aims open source at your car". Channel Register. The Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  36. ^ Wind River to Acquire BSDi Software Assets, Extending Development Platforms to Include Robust UNIX-based Operating Systems for Embedded Devices, Business Wire
  37. ^ FreeBSD Mall: Company History
  38. ^ Wind River terminating BSD/OS
  39. ^ "TECHNOLOGY; Wind River Systems Agrees to Acquisition of ICEsoft". The New York Times. August 28, 2000. 
  40. ^ "Wind River Acquires AudeSi, Gains Additional Java, Internet Appliance Expertise - Company Business and Marketing". Edge: Work-Group Computing Report. 2000. 
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^

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