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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Linux on Pentium in safety critical

LynuxWorks has developed what seems to be the first commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) open source Linux safety critical real time operating system (RTOS) that supports the Pentium processor.

LynxOS-178 2.2 adds Pentium X86 support to the established PowerPC and other platforms supported by existing releases to the 178 safety critical standard. Other enhancements in the v2.2 include support for distributed communications middleware products such as Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) or Distributed Data Systems (DDS). This architecture allows multiple different devices to communicate in distributed systems.

At the same time LynuxWorks has upgraded its flagship RTOS to LynxOS 4.2, with increased memory, an updated Linux Application Binary Interface (ABI) and support for new peripheral devices, including Serial ATA and PCI Express. LynxOS 4.2 has increased RAM (up to 1 GB), features a fully integrated, updated GNU tool chain (3.2.2) and an enhanced Linux ABI (based on glibc 2.2.93) to provide a streamlined development and execution environment. LynxOS is the only real-time operating system to offer a Linux ABI layer.

LynuxWorks has also upgraded its BlueCat embedded Linux operating system to improve the real time performance. The BlueCat 5.4 enhancements include support for Linux kernel 2.6.13, which results in improved performance, along with an updated GNU tool chain. Initial performance figures indicate that average interrupt response times are down by three times and average context switch times have been reduced by nine times showing a large performance leap over the previous 2.6 kernel. A marked improvement in determinism has also been observed with worst-case performance spikes having been reduced significantly.

This will be good news to all those who want a more reliable, deterministic Linux and use the Pentium.

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