Wind River Releases Complete Development Platform for DSP-Powered Embedded Devices

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS CONFERENCE, SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 11, 2002 - Wind River Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:WIND), a leading provider of software and services for connected devices, today announced the release of VSPWorks a complete development platform for developing applications powered by digital signal processors (DSPs). The new platform provides the VSPWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) and GUI-driven development tools, optimized for creating applications with small memory footprint requirements using single or multiple DSPs, or a combination of DSP and CPU silicon. Such applications are popular in several markets including aerospace and defense systems, network infrastructure and consumer electronics equipment requiring real-time data processing.

In applications where the processing power required by a system exceeds the capabilities of one processor, several or even hundreds of DSPs and CPUs are being combined into single systems to improve performance and reduce processing bottlenecks. Further, designers are now combining several processing cores on a single piece of silicon to improve performance, a new design method known as "multicore" computing. VSPWorks is well suited for developing applications that implement these scalable distributed computing models, and enables the programming of a multiprocessor or multicore system as if it were a single processor system through a unique virtual single processor (VSP) model.

"We predict that DSP and DSP-related technology to be the number one semiconductor technology driver for this decade," said Will Strauss, president of DSP market watcher Forward Concepts. "As companies tie together the complexities of DSP-driven communications and multimedia to conventional data processing activity, there is increasing need to program and manage heterogeneous systems. This level of system complexity, along with the increasing importance of DSP, is driving the need for high-level operating systems and development tools. Clearly, Wind River s VSPWorks platform helps make this new level of complexity manageable and enables the intricate communications that must occur between these various silicon building blocks."

"A growing number of our customers are designing heterogeneous systems that integrate a diverse set of programmable silicon building blocks including CPUs, DSPs and FPGAs," said John Fogelin, chief technologist and vice president of Wind River s Embedded Technologies business unit. "With the introduction of VSPWorks, developers are able to combine the necessary silicon components for their application and then use an integrated development environment that employs the virtual single processor model to develop their multicore applications, as if it were a single processor system. By simplifying system design, manufacturers of these complex systems are able to substantially reduce their total development time."

VSPWorks is based on the "Virtuoso" technology acquired by Wind River last year from Eonic Systems. Key technology components include a scalable, small footprint kernel optimized for DSPs, advanced VSP architecture for multicore distributed applications, and tools to enable customers to rapidly design, debug, and deploy a variety of applications with processing-intensive requirements. Developers are able to specify tasks and objects that may reside on any processor in the system, and VSPWorks handles all inter-processor communication. Applications can also be reconfigured to run on new hardware with fewer or more processors without source code changes. Other key features include:

  • VxWorks Integration - Enables customers to design systems combining CPUs and DSPs through a host server that enables processors to communicate with Wind River s VxWorks RTOS. Customers are now able to leverage the extensive features and middleware provided by VxWorks (such as TCP/IP networking, graphics and file systems) on memory-constrained processors running VSPWorks.

  • Portability - Provides a hardware abstraction layer that allows developers to port their application algorithms easily between processor architectures. The consistent VSPWorks application programming interface (API) provides portability across a range of architectures and enables a migration route to faster or cheaper DSPs as they become available.

  • Hard Real-Time Performance - Gives the system designer full control over hardware, allowing the user to design truly deterministic, hard real-time applications - a crucial requirement for time-critical DSP systems.

  • Market Focus - Complex, algorithm-intensive aerospace and defense systems represent a key market opportunity for VSPWorks technology. Applications that are well suited for its VSP programming model and lend themselves to distributed processing designs include radar, sonar, imaging, and satellite systems. These applications typically require enormous amounts of processor power, requiring tens or even hundreds of processors. Because such systems are very complex to program, VSPWorks ability to handle all interprocessor communications is indispensable. Similarly, the same virtues that make VSPWorks a good fit for many aerospace and defense-related applications also apply to voice, data, and video processing farms in telecommunications base station systems. These large systems often rely on numerous DSPs to handle processing-intensive data encoding and decoding while a central CPU handles network traffic and overall system control. Developers building these systems can now leverage VSPWorks technology to design the DSP-based system components alongside the proven reliability of VxWorks for CPU-based tasks and applications.

VSPWorks is currently available for Analog Devices SHARC, Hammerhead and ADSP-21020; Texas Instruments TMS320C6x and TMS320C4x families; Motorola PowerPC 74xx; Windows NT simulation. Releases supporting StarCore, TigerSHARC and Blackfin will soon be available. For more information, contact the local Wind River salesperson in your area.

About Wind River
Wind River is a worldwide leader in integrated embedded software solutions for creating reliable and innovative connected devices. Wind River provides development tools, operating systems, and advanced connectivity software for use in products in network infrastructure, digital consumer electronics, automotive, industrial, and aerospace/defense markets. Wind River is How Smart Things Think. Founded in 1981, Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, California, with operations worldwide.

Wind River Systems, the Wind River Systems logo, VSPWorks and How Smart Things Think are trademarks of Wind River Systems, Inc., and VxWorks is a registered trademark of Wind River Systems, Inc. All other names mentioned are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.

Contact Information
Jessica Miller
Global Corporate Communications