With each new generation of industrial devices, complexity management, data intelligence, and security become increasingly important. Device developers must balance demands for increased speed, greater efficiency, and lower cost with an acceptable level of risk—while focusing on core competencies.
Industry leaders are embracing workload consolidation to make all the functionality on a device secure, manageable, and scalable. Wind River® offers end-to-end development and run-time platforms based on open standards that make workload consolidation, complexity management, scalability, and security a reality.
Virtualization technology provides more localized, connected processing power close to where it is needed. Local data traffic can be processed quickly and acted on—whether on a train, a manufacturing floor, or a power plant—while the data is still available to the wider systems across the Internet. The key to virtualization is the ability to consolidate a number of functions, such as communications or data processing, into an intelligent single unit to save costs and reduce complexity.
Multi-core is widely considered the key to meeting new safety standards, adding new features in a short time frame, and consolidating systems for cost and space savings. With multi-core systems, when designers incorporate new features and data handling routines into the design, the real-time, security, and communications elements are unaffected—dramatically reducing the complexity, risk, and costs of managing devices in critical situations.
To meet increasingly demanding requirements for performance and reliability, many industrial systems must be built on a proven and deterministic platform solution foundation. Real-time operating systems tend to be more deterministic and less complex, making them ideal candidates for development in industries where certification is a necessity.
The costs and complexities of meeting safety mandates are spiraling upward. At the same time, proliferating tools and platforms are making it more difficult to stay on schedule with new features and functionality.
Security vulnerability is a critical challenge for providers of highly interconnected systems. Technological advancements make infrastructure more vulnerable to external (and sometimes internal) threats—with potentially disastrous results.
Control and Process Automation
The environment for process control and machine manufacturers is undergoing a revolution. Where functionality once drove innovation, cost efficiency, and time-to-market, now safety and security are the overriding requirements, with snowballing pressure to meet safety requirements based on IEC 61508 and derived standards.
Nearly 70% of the energy grid is more than 30 years old, and the grid infrastructure is consequently stress prone and environmentally risky. But the path to more efficient, less costly, cleaner, and safer energy generation, transportation, and distribution poses challenges: to retrofit and modernize the existing grid and to design tomorrow's energy grid with even more built-in intelligence, communication, and the flexibility to adapt to the future, all at an acceptable cost and without undue complexity.
In the transportation market, one thing is certain: Human lives depend on the quality of safety systems. Everything else seems to be in a constant state of flux: ever-changing government regulations; multiple safety standards that vary by country, region, or even municipality; and multiple variables that impact costs in unpredictable ways.
Industrial markets have used machines, robots, and other forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) control devices and systems for many years. New advancements are creating new opportunities. Manufacturing plants can incorporate virtualization to run several "soft" programmable logic controllers (PLCs) on a single-core device, and can provide security and communications for sensors and networks around the shop floor through a real time operating system.
Critical networks of computer systems form the backbone of our global economic growth and are vital to the consistent operation and delivery of government services. Today's national security infrastructure relies on a consistent and persistent framework for delivering and controlling critical systems with an increasing amount of operational data.