VxWorks 7 is a verion of the operating system that provides a secure microkernel as small as 20 kBytes to run edge nodes in the Internet of Things. Networking stacks can be added for connectivity up to around 100 kBytes.
A combination of the microkernel and the standard kernel, built on the same VxWorks platform, allows designers to reduce development and maintenance costs by using one RTOS across different cores, big and small. Wind River’s owner Intel is taking this approach with different versions of its Quark core. It can be also be applied across different classes of connected devices, from small-footprint consumer wearables to large networking equipment and everything in between.
“With the concept of big core and small core you need a microkernel and a small kernel with the stacks on top,” said Prashant Dubal, product director for VxWorks. “That’s around 100kbytes but there’s a fine line before you go to the standard kernel and while we want to fill the gap we don’t want to create a new operating system. The microkernel is very useful for smaller medical devices; IoT, it’s a perfect match for the wearable market with Bluetooth Low energy with a very small IP stack; and for those smaller 32bit microcontrollers that are geared to sensors and nodes. We are not limiting that to Intel: our goal is Arm and Intel.”
A new modular approach allows customers to apply targeted, efficient upgrades to packages and protocols without changing the system core which minimises testing and recertification efforts and allows customers to sustain their systems on the cutting edge of technology.