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GUI toolkit gains tighter Wind River integration

Sep 2, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 26 views

Wind River announced the availability of a Linux-compatible, embedded GUI suite targeting industrial, defense, medical, automotive, and mobile devices. A result of the acquisition of Tilcon Software, Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7 offers tight integration with Wind River Linux and Wind River Workbench, says the Intel-owned embedded firm.

Wind River acquired the 18-employee, Ottawa, Canada-based Tilcon in February for $3.5 million. Then, Wind River itself was acquired by Intel Corp. in July for $884 million. The subsidiary's Wind River Linux platform was recently projected by VDC Research to have overtaken MontaVista Linux as the leading commercial supplier of solutions for the embedded Linux market, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue.

At the time of the Tilcon pick-up, Wind River said it was especially interested in using the GUI software in "environments in which programmable graphics are replacing or augmenting analog gauges and dials." Wind River has made a considerable push over the last two years in automotive telematics, and has partnered with Freescale on telematics development for Freescale's MPC512x PowerQUICC processors — a platform on which the semiconductor firm has previously partnered with Tilcon too.

Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7's Interface Builder
(Click to enlarge)

Wind River has a more recent partnership with Intel on automotive telematics using the Intel Atom, so it will be interesting to see if the parent company permits the Freescale partnership to continue. Intel and Wind River have both stated that Wind River will continue to offer full cross-platform support, but that seems unlikely to pertain to full-fledged partnerships with rival chip vendors. Meanwhile, MontaVista has chosen PowerQUICC as one of the first platforms to be supported by its new MontaVista Linux 6.

Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7

Several months prior to the Tilcon acquisition, the graphics software firm announced a version of its GUI (graphical user interface) toolkit designed to work with Wind River Linux and Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS). Wind River's new version furthers this integration with both embedded platforms, says the company.

Previously called Tilcon Interface Development Suite (IDS), the earlier 5.5.5 version featured a drag-and-drop interface builder, property sheets for customizing appearance, behavior, resources, and actions, and a "wide" range of GUI and HMI objects, according to the company at the time. Other features include a GIS application development module and Rhapsody UML (unified modeling language) support.

Like Tilcon IDS 5.5.5, Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7 is based on the Tilcon Embedded Vector Engine (EVE), which Wind River calls the Tilcon GUI Engine. This run-time platform manages display and user interaction events as a service to distributed API clients. Working directly with native OSes such as Linux, the GUI Engine interacts with core graphics libraries, including WindML, Win32, Photon, and OpenGL ES.

Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7's central development platform is dubbed by Wind River as the Tilcon Interface Development Tool (IDT). The IDT is used to "design, prototype, simulate, and test an embedded GUI early in development without coding and before writing any product code," says Wind River. Version 5.7 also offers target support packages (TSP) for the new VxWorks 6.7 and Wind River Linux 3.0 releases, as well as closer integration with the two development platforms.

Specific enhancements to Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7 are said to include:

  • Expanded host support including Windows Vista and Linux
  • Broad set of comprehensive tutorials
  • Tighter integration with Wind River products via a Wind River Workbench application template, updated Tilcon Scalability Tool integrated with Workbench, and a TSP for VxWorks Simulator
  • Wind River licensing and installer


Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.7 is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found here.

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