From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Vxworks)
Jump to: navigation, search
VxWorks symbol by Wind River Systems.png
VxWorks 7 Bootup Screen.png
VxWorks 7 Boot up Screen
Developer Wind River (a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation)
OS family Real-time operating systems
Working state Current
Initial release 1987; 31 years ago (1987)
Latest release 7 / March 2014; 3 years ago (2014-03)
Marketing target Embedded systems
Platforms x86 (including Intel Quark), x86-64, MIPS, PowerPC, SH-4, ARM
Kernel type Monolithic
License Proprietary
Official website www.windriver.com/products/vxworks/

VxWorks is a real-time operating system (RTOS) developed as proprietary software by Wind River Systems of Alameda, California, US. First released in 1987, VxWorks is designed for use in embedded systems requiring real-time, deterministic performance and, in many cases, safety and security certification, for industries, such as aerospace and defense, medical devices, industrial equipment, robotics, energy, transportation, network infrastructure, automotive, and consumer electronics.[1]

VxWorks supports Intel (x86, including the new Intel Quark SoC,[2] and x86-64), MIPS, PowerPC, SH-4, and ARM architectures.[3] The RTOS can be used in multicore asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP), symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), and mixed modes[4] and multi-OS (via Type 1 hypervisor)[5] designs on 32- and 64-bit processors.[6]

VxWorks comes with the kernel, middleware, board support packages, Wind River Workbench development suite and complementary third-party software and hardware technologies. In its latest release, VxWorks 7, the RTOS has been re-engineered for modularity and upgradeability so the OS kernel is separate from middleware, applications and other packages.[7] Scalability, security, safety, connectivity, and graphics have been improved to address Internet of Things (IoT) needs.[8][9][10]


VxWorks started in the late 1980s as a set of enhancements to a simple RTOS called VRTX[11] sold by Ready Systems (becoming a Mentor Graphics product in 1995).[12] Wind River acquired rights to distribute VRTX and significantly enhanced it by adding, among other things, a file system and an integrated development environment. In 1987, anticipating the termination of its reseller contract by Ready Systems, Wind River developed its own kernel to replace VRTX within VxWorks.[13]

VxWorks key milestones are:[14][not in citation given]

  • 1980s: VxWorks adds support for 32-bit processors.
  • 1990s: VxWorks 5 becomes the first RTOS with a networking stack.
  • 2000s: VxWorks 6 supports SMP and adds derivative industry-specific platforms.
  • 2010s: VxWorks adds support for 64-bit processing[6] and introduces VxWorks 7 for IoT in 2016.[15]

Platform overview[edit]

VxWorks supports Intel (x86, including the new Intel Quark SoC,[2] and x86-64), MIPS, PowerPC, SH-4, and ARM architectures.[3] The RTOS can be used in multicore asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP), symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), and mixed modes[6] and multi-OS (via Type 1 hypervisor)[5] designs on 32- and 64-bit processors.

The VxWorks Core Platform consists of a set of runtime components and development tools. The run time components are an operating system (UP and SMP; 32- and 64-bit), software for applications support (file system, core network stack, USB stack and inter-process communications) and hardware support (architecture adaptor, processor support library, device driver library and board support packages).[6] VxWorks core development tools are compilers such as Diab, GNU, and Intel C++ Compiler (ICC)) and its build and config tools. The system also includes productivity tools such as its Workbench development suite and Intel tools and development support tools for asset tracking and host support.[6]

The platform is a modular, vendor-neutral, open system that supports a range of third-party software and hardware. The OS kernel is separate from middleware, applications and other packages,[9] which enables easier bug fixes and testing of new features.[15] An implementation of a layered source build system allows multiple versions of any stack to be installed at the same time so developers can select which version of any feature set should go into the VxWorks kernel libraries.

Optional Profiles for VxWorks add incremental functionality required for specific industries (such as medical, industrial, networking and consumer) or technology-related capabilities, such as a small footprint RTOS (Microkernel Profile) and a Type 1 real-time embedded hypervisor (Virtualization Profile).[15][16]


VxWorks is designed for use in embedded systems.

A list of some of the features of the OS are:[4][17][18][19]

  • Multitasking kernel with preemptive and round-robin scheduling and fast interrupt response
  • Native 64-bit operating system (only one 64-bit architecture supported: x86-64). Data model: LP64.
  • User-mode applications ("Real-Time Processes", or RTP) isolated from other user-mode applications as well as the kernel via memory protection mechanisms.
  • SMP, AMP and mixed mode multiprocessing support
  • Error handling framework
  • Bluetooth, USB, CAN protocols, Firewire IEEE 1394, BLE, L2CAP, Continua stack, health device profile
  • Binary, counting, and mutual exclusion semaphores with priority inheritance
  • Local and distributed message queues
  • POSIX PSE52 certified conformity in user-mode execution environment
  • File systems: High Reliability File System (HRFS), FAT-based file system (DOSFS), Network File System (NFS), and TFFS
  • Dual-mode IPv6 networking stack with IPv6 Ready Logo certification
  • Memory protection including real-time processes (RTPs), error detection and reporting, and IPC
  • Multi-OS messaging using TIPC and Wind River multi-OS IPC
  • Symbolic debugging

In March 2014, Wind River introduced VxWorks 7, which emphasizes scalability, security, safety, connectivity, graphics, and virtualization.[10][15][20] The following lists some of the release 7 updates.[1][6][7][10] More information can be found on the Wind Rivers VxWorks website.

  • Modular, componentized architecture using a layered build system with the ability to update each layer of code independently
  • VxWorks microkernel (a full RTOS that can be as small as 20KB)
  • Security features such as digitally-signed modules (X.509), encryption, password management, ability to add/delete users at runtime
  • SHA-256 hashing algorithm as the default password hashing algorithm
  • Human machine interface with Vector Graphics, and Tilcon user interface (UI)
  • Graphical user interface (GUI): OpenVG stack, Open GL, Tilcon UI, Frame Buffer Driver, EV Dev Interface
  • Updated configuration interfaces for VxWorks Source Build VSB projects and VxWorks Image Projects
  • Single authentication control used for Telnet, SSH, FTP, and rlogin daemons
  • Connectivity with Bluetooth and SocketCAN protocol stacks
  • Inclusion of MIPC File System (MFS) and MIPC Network Device (MND)
  • Networking features with 64-bit support including Wind River MACsec, Wind River’s implementation of IEEE 802.1A, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) over L2TP, PPP over virtual local area network (VLAN) and Diameter secure key storage
  • New Wind River Workbench 4 for VxWorks 7 integrated development environment with new system analysis tools
  • Wind River Diab Compiler 5.9.4; Wind River GNU Compiler 4.8; Intel C++ Compiler 14 and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) 8

Hardware support[edit]

VxWorks has been ported to a number of platforms and now runs on practically any modern CPU that is used in the embedded market. This includes the Intel x86 family (including the Intel Quark SoC),[2] MIPS, PowerPC (and BAE RAD), Freescale ColdFire, Intel i960, SPARC, Fujitsu FR-V, SH-4 and the closely related family of ARM, StrongARM and xScale CPUs.[3] VxWorks provides a standard board support package (BSP) interface between all its supported hardware and the OS. Wind River’s BSP developer kit provides a common application programming interface (API) and a stable environment for real-time operating system development.

Development environment[edit]

As is common in embedded system development, cross-compiling is used with VxWorks. Development is done on a "host" system where an integrated development environment (IDE), including the editor, compiler toolchain, debugger, and emulator can be used. Software is then compiled to run on the "target" system. This allows the developer to work with powerful development tools while targeting more limited hardware. VxWorks uses the following host environments and target hardware architectures:[3][21]

Supported host environments
  • Windows 8 / 7 / Vista (Business and Enterprise), SP 2 / XP Professional, SP 2 or 3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation 5, Update 2 or 3, x86 (32-bit/64-bit) / 4, Update 6 or 8, x86 (32-bit)
  • Red Hat Fedora 11, x86 (32-bit/64-bit) / 9, x86-64
  • Novell SUSE Linux openSUSE 11.1, x86 (32-bit/64-bit) / 11.0, x86 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11.0, x86 (64-bit) / 10.2, x86 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • Ubuntu Desktop 9.04, Update 4, x86 (32-bit/64-bit) / 8.04, Update 4, x86 (64-bit)
  • Solaris 10 (with GTK), Update 11/06, SPARC 32-bit
Supported target architectures and processor families

The newly released VxWorks 7 supports the following target architectures:

  • ARMv7A (Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A8, Cortex-A9, Cortex-A15) / ARMv7M (Cortex-M4) / ARMv7R (Cortex-R5) /ARMv8A (Cortex-A53, Cortex-A72)
  • PowerPC 86xx, 8641d / 85xx, 8572 / 83xx / 74xx / 7xx / 60x / 44x / 40x / QorIQ P4080 / QorIQ P20xx

The Eclipse-based Workbench IDE that comes with VxWorks is used to configure, analyze, optimize, and de-bug a VxWorks-based system under development.[22] The Tornado IDE was used for VxWorks 5.x[23] and was replaced by the Eclipse-based Workbench IDE for VxWorks 6.x. and later.[21] Workbench is also the IDE for the Wind River Linux,[24] On-Chip Debugging,[25] and Wind River Diab Compiler product lines. VxWorks 7 uses Wind River Workbench 4[26] which updates to the Eclipse 4 base provide full third party plug-in support and usability improvements.

VxWorks 7 includes three compilers:[21][27] Diab Compiler, GNU, and the Intel C++ Compiler. Diab Compiler is the default C/C++ compiler for building VxWorks kernel, libraries, BSPs, and applications. It has been used for mission-critical systems for over 20 years. The GNU Compiler 4.8 is based on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) distribution of GCC and g++.[28] Wind River has modified it for use with VxWorks. The Intel C++ Compiler processes C and C++ source code to generate machine code for IA 32 or IA 64 applications.[29]

Wind River Simics[30][31] is a standalone simulation tool compatible with VxWorks. It simulates the full target system (hardware and software) to create a shared platform for software development. Multiple developers can share a complete virtual system and its entire state, including execution history. Simics enables early and continuous system integration and faster prototyping by utilizing virtual prototypes instead of physical prototypes.[32]

Notable uses[edit]

The ASIMO Robot uses VxWorks
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter uses VxWorks
The Clementine spacecraft used VxWorks

VxWorks is used by products over a wide range of market areas: aerospace and defense, automotive, industrial such as robots, consumer electronics, medical area and networking.[7] Several notable products also use VxWorks as the onboard operating system.[33]

Aerospace and defense[edit]



Space telescopes


Consumer electronics[edit]


Industrial robots
Storage systems


Networking and communication infrastructure[edit]


  1. ^ a b "VxWorks Goes 64-bit", Electronic Design, March 25, 2011
  2. ^ a b c Intel Tackles SoC With Quark"' EE Times, October 7, 2013
  3. ^ a b c d Wind River Expands Hardware Support for VxWorks, Bloomberg News at bloomberg.com, March 24, 2010
  4. ^ a b RTOS Handles AMP and SMP, electronic design, March 2009
  5. ^ a b John Rath (February 2014). "Intel Adds Virtualization Platform for Industrial Systems". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Embedded Star Article, February 2011
  7. ^ a b c Wind River reinvents real-time system for the Internet of Things, iTERS news, March 2014
  8. ^ "VxWorks 7 Announced". harmonicss.co.uk. 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Wind River Reinvents the RTOS for the IoT, Business Wire, February 2014
  10. ^ a b c Jackson, Joab (2014). "Wind River outfits VxWorks for 'Internet of things' | ITworld". itworld.com. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Embedded Systems Glossary: V". www.netrino.com. Netrino, LLC. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ "SEC filing". Secinfo.com. January 19, 1996. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  13. ^ Lord of the Toasters, Wired (magazine) interview with Jerry Fiddler, September 1998
  14. ^ Company Histories, Funding Universe
  15. ^ a b c d Wind River Outfits VxWorks for the Internet of Things, Computer World
  16. ^ "Wind River Prepares VxWorks for the IoT", Electronic Weekly.com
  17. ^ "Wind River Releases 64-Bit VxWorks RTOS". Windriver.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  18. ^ POSIX Certification Register
  19. ^ Filesystems in VxWorks, CDF online, Fermi Labs
  20. ^ Wind River Reinvents the Real-Time Operating System for the Internet of Things Windriver.com,
  21. ^ a b c Workbench Product Note
  22. ^ Wind River reinvents the RTOS for the IoT, Business Wire
  23. ^ "Wind River VxWorks 5.x Page". Windriver.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  24. ^ "Wind River Linux Main Page". Windriver.com. 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  25. ^ "Wind River OCD Main Page". Windriver.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  26. ^ "VxWorks Gets Re-vamped" Information Technology
  27. ^ VxWorks C Compiler, Daniel Sigg
  28. ^ GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection, gcc.gnu.org
  29. ^ Intel C++ Compiler, Wikipedia
  30. ^ Simics, Wikipedia
  31. ^ Wind River Simics
  32. ^ Accelerate Software Development with Wind River Simics, Intel webpage
  33. ^ VxWorks customer list
  34. ^ a b c d e ExtremeTech news
  35. ^ "Wind River's VxWorks Powers Mars Science Laboratory Rover, Curiosity". Virtual Strategy Magazine. August 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  36. ^ Clementine Project Information Page
  37. ^ The Software Behind the Mars Phoenix Lander
  38. ^ ExtremeTech article
  39. ^ "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. 
  40. ^ Dragon Lab Fact Sheet
  41. ^ Bullseye: Autonomous Satellite Enters Jupiter’s Orbit
  42. ^ AgustaWestland Project Zero
  43. ^ the US Navy’s unmanned combat air system X-47B, YouTube video
  44. ^ Adacore article, Customer page
  45. ^ Verocel webpage
  46. ^ The Free Library, Farlex
  47. ^ The Register
  48. ^ http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/rq-170-sentinel/ Airforce-Technology.com[unreliable source?]
  49. ^ PTR Group celebrates third successful launch of the year, PTR GRoup webpage
  50. ^ James Webb Space Telescope, SPIEL Digital Library
  51. ^ Case Study: European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System
  52. ^ TacNet Tracker Software, ESTSC
  53. ^ Flexible camera applications of an advanced uncooled microbolometer thermal imaging core, SPIE Digital Library
  54. ^ Barco Selects Wind River for Military Display and Management, Bloomberg
  55. ^ Wind River: Toshiba is using Simics to develop automotive application software, Embedded Control Europe
  56. ^ Wind River Helps Bosch Motorsport Race For The Win, Globe and Mail
  57. ^ Wind River delivers Android expertise to Clarion AX1 automotive IVI device, Motor Control Design
  58. ^ Hyundia works with Wind River, Telematics News
  59. ^ Magneti Marell i Motorsport Chooses Wind River VxWorks for Formula One Race Cars, HighBeam Research
  60. ^ The Network on Wheels -- Java Developers, Start Your Programming Engines!,Oracle
  61. ^ Drobo In depth review, Automated Home
  62. ^ Honda Robots Asimo, Robotics Technology Simplified
  63. ^ Motorola's DCT2500 Core Interactive Digital Set-Tops Deployed With Wind River Software, BrightRoll news webpage
  64. ^ As a Case Study of WindRiver: introduce MobbyTalk/MobbyTalk253, Mobile Technika
  65. ^ MythTv on ReplayTv hardware?, Don Ritter
  66. ^ "ABB Robotics and vxworks". Abb.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  67. ^ Comau Robotics Picks Wind River VxWorks for RTOS, TMCnet.com
  68. ^ KUKA Video, YouTube
  69. ^ COPALP webpage
  70. ^ Yaskawa, Motoman Strategic Partners
  71. ^ Comau Robotics Picks Wind River VxWorks for RTOS, TMCnet
  72. ^ Leading Chinese Transportation Company Relies on Wind River to Meet Stringent Safety Certification Goal, On-line Wall Street Journal
  73. ^ Bombardier Transportation Selects Wind River Platforms for Safety Critical Certified Display on London Underground, Online UK Reuters
  74. ^ Wind Power Automation Leader Bachmann Relies On Wind River VxWorks For Next-Generation Controller System, Globe and mail
  75. ^ Invensys acquisition: “Now, it is up to how well we execute.”, The Instrument Readout SignPost
  76. ^ National Instruments Support Page
  77. ^ Mitsubishi Electric's C Controller, RealTime Logic
  78. ^ EPICS base Release 3.14 Installation Instructions
  79. ^ Bosch Rexroth YouTube video
  80. ^ iBox user guide Page 8-41
  81. ^ Shuhasoft's Blog
  82. ^ Toshiba Photocopiers
  83. ^ Hexagon Metrology Standardizes on Wind River’s VxWorks for Next-Generation Metrology Equipment, Bloomberg.com
  84. ^ GrandMA Full-Size Data Sheet
  85. ^ "Wind River Introduces Software Platform for Medical Devices Complete with Compliance Documentation". 
  86. ^ Olympus ESG-400 high-frequency surgical generator
  87. ^ BD FACSCount article
  88. ^ Thema process control article
  89. ^ CEREC Chairside Solutions
  90. ^ Arkoon selects Wind River for nextgen equipment, Highbeam Business
  91. ^ Ubee-Airwalk uses Wind River's VxWorks in femotcell,Telecompaper
  92. ^ Kontron AG e-newswire
  93. ^ QQTechnologies goes Global with VxWorks, Datsheets 360
  94. ^ Broadlight Client page
  95. ^ Sky Pilot Command Line Interface Reference document
  96. ^ Wind River delivers Raptor with VxWorks Platform, ETT Asia news
  97. ^ Siemens deploys 2.5G Wireless Data Platform, 3G Newsletter
  98. ^ FlexiPacket Release Note
  99. ^ Oracle acme support page
  100. ^ Avaya ERS 8600 Wikipedia
  101. ^ Dell PowerConnect, Wikipedia page
  102. ^ Routing Protocol Operations Guide for SmartEdge
  103. ^ Enhanced Security for Industrial Networks, Belden webpage
  104. ^ VoIP Security webpage
  105. ^ Multiservice Switch, Wikipedia
  106. ^ Knowledge Base, Radware webpage
  107. ^ "Samsung OfficeServ brochure" (PDF). 
  108. ^ Tim's IT-Blob: A deeper look on SonicWALL kernel
  109. ^ Thuraya SO-2510 Satellite
  110. ^ SANYO Multimedia Tottori Chooses RADVISION SIP Developer Toolkit to Build New IP Phone, Business Wire
  111. ^ 3Com NBX Phone Systems, AdCom Technologies Inc.

External links[edit]