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VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks operating system provides unrivalled deterministic high performance. It establishes the benchmark for a scalable, safe, secure, and dependable operating environment for mission-critical computing systems that require the highest requirements. Leading global innovators have used VxWorks for more than 40 years to produce award-winning, creative solutions for aerospace, military, rail, vehicles, medical devices, manufacturing facilities, and communications networks.

In this article, you will learn about the VxWorks operating system's history and architecture, capabilities, functions, and features.

What is VxWorks Operating System?

VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks is created as proprietary software by Wind River Systems, a completely owned subsidiary of Aptiv. It was firstly launched in 1987. It is mainly intended for embedded systems that require real-time and deterministic performance. In many cases, it needs safety and security certification in aerospace and robotics, medical devices, industrial equipment, energy, transportation, defence, automotive, network infrastructure, and consumer electronics.

It supports the AMD/Intel architecture, the ARM architecture, the POWER architecture, and the RISC-V architecture. On 32 and 64-bit processors, the real-time operating system may be utilized in multicore mixed modes, symmetric multiprocessing, multi-OS architectures, and asymmetric multiprocessing.

The VxWorks development environment contains the kernel, board support packages, the Wind River Workbench development suite, and third-party software and hardware technologies. The real-time operating system in VxWorks 7 version has been redesigned for modularity and upgradeability, with the operating system kernel separated from middleware, applications, and other packages. Scalability, security, safety, connection, and graphics have all been enhanced to meet the demands of the Internet of Things (IoT).

History of VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks started in the 1980s as a set of upgrades to VRTX, a crude RTOS sold by Ready Systems in 1995. Wind River obtained the distribution rights to VRTX and significantly upgraded it by integrating a file system and an integrated development environment, among other things. Wind River designed and developed its kernel to replace VRTX within VxWorks in 1987, anticipating the loss of its reseller contract by Ready Systems.

The architecture of the VxWorks operating system

The wind microkernel is at the core of the VxWorks real-time OS. The kernel is a link between the shell and the hardware, which is a software component. The kernel should execute the LabVIEW program while providing secure access to the machine's hardware.

Main Capabilities of VxWorks Operating System

There are various capabilities of the VxWorks OS. Some capabilities of the VxWorks OS are as follows:

1. Reliability and Performance

It is the first real-time operating system on Earth and Mars where reliability is required. It delivers the highest levels of performance when it's needed the most.

2. Safety

VxWorks was developed with security in mind. It has undergone extensive testing and certification to meet specified requirements.

3. Security

It provides a set of capabilities designed to protect devices, data, and intellectual property in the linked world. VxWorks Security Services meet strict security standards across industries when combined with the development processes.

Functions of the VxWorks Operating System

There are various functions of the VxWorks OS. Some functions of the VxWorks OS are as follows:

1. Task Management

Task management is an example of software that is being run. The task comprises many components, such as a memory address, identifier, programme counter, and context data. The task consists of carrying out their directions.

There are mainly two types of operating system tasks: single-tasking and multitasking. The single-task approach only works with one process at a time. The multitasking method allows numerous processes to run at the same time. Because the VxWorks kernel supports multitasking, we can run numerous jobs simultaneously.

2. Scheduling

The scheduling system is the backbone of the RTOS and is used to keep the processor's workload consistent and balanced. As a result, each process is completed within a certain amount of time. Priority and round round-robin scheduling are two key techniques in Vxworks OS.

3. Memory Management

Memory management is a key part of the OS, which handles the computer's memory. Physical and virtual memory are the two types of memory modules found in a CPU. The hard disk is defined as physical memory, while virtual memory is defined as RAM. An OS manages the RAM address spaces, and the virtual memory address is assigned after the real memory address.

All application jobs in the VxWorks embedded RTOS share the same address space, implying that faulty apps could mistakenly access system resources and compromise the overall system's stability. The VxWorks system includes one optional tool called VxVMI, which can be used to give each task its own address space. VxWorks does not provide privilege protection. VxWorks privilege level is always 0.

4. Interrupts

Vxworks OS interrupt service routines execute in a distinct context outside of any process context to give the quickest possible response to external interrupts. There are no process context switches involved. The interrupt vector table stores the ISR address, which is invoked directly from the hardware. The ISR first does some work (for example, saving registers and setting up the stack) before calling the C functions that the user has connected.

5. Round-Robin Scheduling

This scheduling algorithm is utilized by the processor while executing the process. It is specially intended for time-sharing systems. Round-robin scheduling allots a specific amount of time to each process. Once a process has been completed in a certain time period, other processes are permitted to complete in the same time period. In a real-time operating system, round-robin scheduling performs better.

6. Priority Scheduling

Priority scheduling assigns a priority to each process (thread). The highest priority thread would be executed first. Priority processes are implemented on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority can be determined based on time, memory, or any other resource demand.

Hardware Support of VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks has been adapted to a variety of platforms and can currently run on almost any latest CPU used in the embedded industry. It includes the Intel x86 processor family (including the Intel Quark SoC), MIPS, PowerPC (including BAE RAD), Intel i960, SPARC, Fujitsu FR-V, Freescale ColdFire, SH-4, and the ARM, StrongARM, and xScale CPU families. It provides an interface between all supported hardware and the operating system via a standard board support package (BSP). Its developer kit offers a standardized API and a dependable environment for designing RTOS. Popular SSL/TLS libraries, such as wolfSSL, support VxWorks.

Platforms of VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks operating system is a collection of runtime components and development tools. The run time components are an OS (UP and SMP), which are the software for app support and hardware support. VxWorks' primary development tools include compilers such as Diab, GNU, and Intel C++ Compiler (ICC) and build and setup tools. Additionally, the system provides productivity tools, including development support tools, Workbench development suite, and Intel tools for asset tracking and host support.

The VxWorks OS platform is a modular, vendor-agnostic, open system that may run on various third-party applications and hardware. The OS kernel is isolated from middleware, programs, and other packages, making problem fixes and testing new features easier. A layered source development system solution enables the simultaneous installation of several versions of any stack, allowing developers to choose which version of any feature set must be included in the VxWorks kernel libraries.

Uses of Vxwork Operating System

VxWorks is utilized in many market segments, including aerospace and industrial, consumer electronics, defence, automotive, medical, and networking. VxWorks is also utilized as the onboard operating system in several well-known goods.

Features of the VxWorks Operating System

There are various features of the VxWorks OS. Some features of the VxWorks OS are as follows:

  1. Memory protection strategies insulate user-mode applications from other user-mode apps and the kernel.
  2. It provides memory protection.
  3. It provides a real-time processor.
  4. It contains several file systems, including Disk Operating System Filing System, High-Reliability File System, and Network File System.
  5. It is an error-handling framework.
  6. It offers an Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV 6) networking stack.
  7. It has a multitasking kernel with preemptive, round-robin scheduling and quick interrupt response.
  8. It has a 64-bit operating system.
  9. It contains a dual-mode IPv6 networking stack with IPv6 Ready Logo certification.
  10. It offers support for symmetric multiprocessing and asymmetric multiprocessing.

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