Wind River's VxWorks 6.9 now supports 64-bit platforms. VxWorks is one of the best know real time operating systems (RTOS) around. It provides a wide range of services (Fig. 1) also found in the 32-bit version of the RTOS. Backwards compatibility with VxWorks 5.5 and 6.x will be key to developers looking to migrate to 6.9.

The x86_64 platforms like Intel's Core i3, i5, i7 and Xeon plus AMD's Athlon and Opteron are the initial target for VxWorks 6.9 64-bit support. This includes bundling the Intel C++ Compiler for VxWorks and the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for VxWorks (Intel IPP) for Intel architectures for thie platform which is not surprising given that Wind River is now part of Intel. VxWorks 6.9 also addresses the 32-bit market where it has wider platorm support. The latest incarnation includes support for Arm's popular Cortex-A9. This includes multicore SMP support as well as Arm Thumb-2 instruction set support.

VxWorks 6.9 will be finding its way into Wind River's Embedded Development Kits (see Wind River EDK - For That Out-Of-Box Experience). These quick start hardware/software packages including Wind River's Eclipse-based IDE, Workbench. Workbench supports all of Wind Rivers compilers including the Wind River Diab Compiler for VxWorks and the Wind River GNU compiler. Workbench works with the optional On-Chip Debugging JTAG tool as well as third party JTAG emulators.

This incarnation supports the numerous VxWorks Platform solutions. These include specialized areas such as Automotive Devices, Consumer Devices, Network Equipment and Industrial Devices. They expand on the middleware that is included with the basic VxWorks environment including IPv4/IPv6 network stacks. Messaging support includes TIPC and Wind River Multi OS IPC (MIPC).

VxWorks may target additional 64-bit platforms in the future but the market in this area tends to be rather limited compared to the wide range of embedded 32-bit platforms. Still, Wind River already supports a number of 64-bit platforms like the MIPS64-based Octeon line from Cavium Networks. 64-bit Power platforms are used in military and avionic applications where VxWorks is also popular.