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Cavium, Wind River partner as VxWorks gains SMP

Oct 30, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Wind River is adding symmetric multi-processing (SMP) to VxWorks, its legacy RTOS (real-time operating system), while deepening its partnership with fabless multiprocessor chip vendor Cavium Networks. Wind River's VxWorks 6.6 is slated to run in SMP mode by year's end, with additional optimizations planned for Cavium's “Octeon” multiprocessor.

Wind River already supported Cavium multiprocessors with the Linux Edition of its Platform for Network Equipment. Now, the long-time leading supplier of telecom operating systems has committed to bringing both generic and Cavium-specific multicore support to its venerable VxWorks RTOS.

Wind River says its forthcoming VxWorks 6.6 release, due by year's end, will support Octeon processors via a separate SMP add-on. Additionally, new multicore capabilities will be added to an accompanying revision of the On-chip Debugging edition of Wind River's Eclipse-based Workbench toolsuite, which supports both Linux and VxWorks.

Cavium on the move

Cavium is a fabless vendor of network processors based on 64-bit MIPS cores. It employs a Cambridge, Mass-based design team said to include veterans of Digital Equipment Corp.'s (DEC's) legendary Alpha processor design team. The company also employs a large engineering and testing team based in India.

Cavium achieved its first major design win this summer, when tier 1 NEP (network equipment provider) Motorola announced its ATCA-9301 blade. The ATCA-9301 blade can be configured with one or two of Cavium's Octeon Plus CN5860 processors, each of which incorporates 16 MIPS64 cores clocked at 900MHz. The CN5860 also integrates hardware engines for TCP offload, compression/decompression, regex, cryptography, and packet queuing and scheduling.

Cavium's CN5860 diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Wind River's CMO, John Bruggeman, hinted that Cavium will soon announce design wins with additional tier-1 equipment makers. He stated, “Wind River is investing heavily in our partnership with Cavium Networks due to their leading position in the networking and communications processor market and a broad set of common tier-1 OEM customers.”


VxWorks 6.6 SMP will be marketed as an optional add-on for VxWorks 6.6. Both products will be available at an undisclosed price in late 2007.

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