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Wind River tightens embrace of open source, open standards

Mar 8, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Wind River — the largest vendor of software platforms and tools in the embedded market — has focused its message for the 2005 Embedded Systems Conference on open source, open standards, and open technologies, announcing an expanded role in the Eclipse Foundation, proposing device-oriented extensions to the Eclipse software development platform, and unveiling a significant contribution to an open-source project for interprocess/interprocessor communications. Additionally, the company says it has increased its investment in organizations such as the Eclipse Foundation, OSDL, and CELF.

Eclipse role and project

Wind River first adopted Eclipse technology in December of 2003, and the company has marketed the Eclipse-based Workbench IDE (integrated development kit) since February, 2004. Now, Wind River has joined the very largest Eclipse supporters — including IBM, Intel, MontaVista, and QNX — becoming a “strategic developer” rather than merely an add-in provider.

As part of its increased stature within the Eclipse Foundation, Wind River has proposed a new top-level project that, if approved, would become one of seven such projects. The Device Software Development Platform project would focus on improving the Eclipse framework for use in developing device software, for example ensuring support for the broad diversity of microprocessors typically found in the embedded market, a Wind River spokesperson said.

Device Software Development Platform

Wind River issued the following “Project Declaration,” which defines its vision for the proposed Device Software Development Platform extensions to the Eclipse framework:

The goal of the Device Software Development Platform is to provide an open source framework and exemplary tools to support the creation of embedded applications. Users of the Device Software Development Platform will find it easier to create plugins that work across a wide range of Eclipse based development environments, operating systems, connection mechanisms and target architectures. Projects will initially focus on target management to enable developers to deploy, debug and analyze applications on a device as well as the configuration of operating system and middleware components.

We will work closely with CDT [the C/C++ Development Tools project] and other Eclipse Projects to improve the overall platform by adding capabilities needed for embedded development, such as asynchronous debugger interfaces and scalable parsing technology, in a consistent and meaningful way.

We look forward to input and discussion from the Eclipse community.

“By bringing the Device Software Development Project to the market, Wind River will help change the way device software development is done,” said Wind River chief marketing officer, John Bruggeman. “Manufacturers will now be able to standardize on choice — using a widely accepted, fully integrated development platform that supports all Eclipse technologies and is backed by an unprecedented ecosystem of industry-leading companies.”


Wind River will also back the TIPC (Transparent Inter Process Communication) project, it says, an open source initiative that provides a transport layer and a message-passing interface that enables processes or tasks running under different operating systems — and residing on either the same or different microprocessors — to communicate with each other. TIPC offers performance and footprint advantages over IP (Internet protocol) where the full capabilities of TCP/IP are not needed, Wind River says, and is suitable for use in multi-processor telecommunications systems.

TIPC was originally developed by Jon Maloy at Ericsson Research, Montreal, to serve as a cluster communication service developed for Linux. The protocol works with any operating system for which a compatibility layer exists, and Wind River today announced that it has contributed a VxWorks compatibility layer to the TIPC project. The company has also committed to making general improvements to TIPC technology, including bug fixes and feature development.

Wind River says that the VxWorks TIPC compatability layer, which is released under a dual GPL/BSD license, will “ensure [TIPC's] portability to as many operating systems as possible.”

“VxWorks' support for TIPC shows that Wind River is serious about supporting interoperability with Linux and other OSes,” said Maloy, adding, “They clearly understand the need for a standard IPC [inter-process communication] mechanism for device software. Their contribution to the TIPC project has been invaluable, and their success once again proves that making TIPC easily portable was a smart strategy.”

According to Wind River, TIPC provide a number of key benefits to embedded applications, including: portability, location transparency, performance, resource utilization (load sharing between media), and subscription services for topology updates.

Further perspective

For further perspective on Wind River's continually evolving embrace of Linux and open source software, read our special report, Wind River steps up to Linux.

This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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