Linux vs. VxWorks

For many years now I’ve been a heavy user of Wind River’s real-time operating system (RTOS) VxWorks. It got the job done and was a far more cost effective than rolling your own RTOS. VxWorks also was highly configurable which let power users create wide ranging configurations to meet the unique requirements of each project from small footprint, fast reboot, low overhead, etc.

My recent experience with Wind River’s (now an Intel company) has been disappointing. The cost is high, the licensing always makes installation painful, and the support has gone down hill. Worse, we have had the sales force selling products that simply don’t work.  We purchased a Wind River In-Circuit Emulator (ICE) for a well known industry core running on an ASIC. Shockingly, the ICE didn’t support our core for almost a year. Now you would think the sales force might extend the support contract or provide something extra as a good will gesture?  Think again.

A couple years ago, I used Linux on a Cell BE based signal processor evaluation effort. My early results were mixed and sadly the project was canceling after IBM canceled further Cell processor development and die shrinks.

VxWorks is likely out.  Time will tell what we replace it with.

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