Wind River Systems

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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 embedded systems, development tools for embedded systems, middleware, and other types of software. 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.[3] Wind River continues to exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel.


Wind River concentrates on middleware: software and operating systems for information appliances and devices. Their products are used in cellular phones, auto braking systems, routers, digital cameras, projectors, set-top boxes, traffic signals, Mars rovers MER-A and MER-B and more.

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 Wind River Workbench superseded the previous Tornado environment.

Wind River's head offices are located at 500 Wind River Way, Alameda, California. As of 2004, their strategic theme is device software optimization.


As of 2009, their competitors include:


Wind River Systems was formed by a partnership of Jerry Fiddler[4] and Dave Wilner.[5][6] In 1981, Fiddler had come out of Berkeley Labs[7] to write software for control systems, but wanted to pursue a career in computer generated music,[8] 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.[9] 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). Wind River was incorporated in 1983, with each partner contributing $3,000 and a desk to the business.

Their most significant acquisition came in 1999 when they purchased 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.[citation needed]



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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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,[13] which was extended in the GENIVI Alliance in 2009.[14]


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.[15] The FreeBSD unit was divested as a separate entity in 2002 as FreeBSD Mall, Inc.[16]

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.[17]

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.



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. ^ Intel to Acquire Wind River Systems for Approximately $884 Million
  4. ^ Jerry Fiddler Profile
  5. ^ Software On Board Mars Pathfinder Has Berkeley Lab Ties Berkeley Labs NewsletterAugust 8, 1997
  6. ^ Jerry Fiddler and Dave Wilner at Berkely Labs Photo from 1997
  7. ^ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 1983
  8. ^ Lord of the Toasters, Wired (magazine) interview with Jerry Fiddler, September 1, 1994
  9. ^ Embedded Systems: Jerry Fiddler Change is music to his ears EE Times interview 1998
  10. ^,-Red-Hat-team-on-embedded-Linux/2100-7344_3-5163122.html
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ BMW wants joint effort to develop open-source in-vehicle platform
  14. ^ Myslewski, Rik (5 March 2009). "Intel aims open source at your car". Channel Register. The Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Wind River to Acquire BSDi Software Assets, Extending Development Platforms to Include Robust UNIX-based Operating Systems for Embedded Devices, Business Wire
  16. ^ FreeBSD Mall: Company History
  17. ^ Wind River terminating BSD/OS
  18. ^ "TECHNOLOGY; Wind River Systems Agrees to Acquisition of ICEsoft". The New York Times. August 28, 2000. 
  19. ^ "Wind River Acquires AudeSi, Gains Additional Java, Internet Appliance Expertise - Company Business and Marketing". Edge: Work-Group Computing Report. 2000. 
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