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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Wind River turns 30

By Nick Flaherty

Real time operating system company Wind River turns 30 this year. In a blog post, Tomas Evensen points to the early moves to add a TCP/IP stack and GDB for debugging to VxWorks, then providing the Tornado and Workbench development environments and now providing a choice of operating systems, real-time or open source/Linux.
But he points particularly to virtualisation, way back in 2004. 
"In early 2005, Paul Borman who worked for me in the CTO Office created a very impressive prototype, called eCPU, that ran VxWorks and Linux on a single CPU and we learned a lot from that effort," said Evensen. "When Johan Fornaeus came on board in 2006 through an acquisition (he was co-founder of Interpeak and before that, one of the co-designers of the Enea/OSE operating system), I had him leading a small nimble task force team to develop a hypervisor really suited for the embedded space. I felt we made a real breakthrough. This was not a repackaged operating system pretending to be something it was not designed for, but instead a truly unique approach to virtualization and separation. Over the next couple years, this small team created a scalable product with an extremely tight footprint, incredible performance, while at the same time being full featured for the common architectures such as Intel, Power, ARM and MIPS."
Back in those days, it was not clear when and how important multi-OS systems would be in the future, he says, but today it is hard to imagine how to deal with these new complex systems without a hypervisor for embedded virtualisation. 
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