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Migration kit gives VxWorks users an exit strategy to Linux

Nov 30, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

FSMLabs is shipping a migration kit for real-time systems developers facing the announced obsolescence of VxWorks 5.0, or using even older, unsupported versions of the proprietary RTOS (real-time operating system). The cleverly named “VxIT” kit supports 250 legacy APIs, FSMLabs says, enabling real-time VxWorks applications to port easily to RTLinux.

VxWorks-to-Linux migration kits are offered by a number of companies, including MapuSoft, LynuxWorks, MontaVista, and TimeSys. However, FSMLabs says its kit offers better real-time support than the others.

According to FSMLabs, VxIT provides a mix of build-time and run-time library translation that enables developers to easily “map” legacy RTOS code into the company's hard, real-time RTCore/RTLinux environment. The RTCore/RTLinux environment includes a small, real-time RTCore nanokernel that runs a general purpose Linux OS as its idle task.

Application code requiring hard real-time performance can be ported to “reside” in the RTCore environment, FSMLabs says, and execute “on a par” with native RTCore applications, offering context-switch and response times matching those offered by the source RTOS platform. Non-time-critical code, meanwhile, can be migrated to the general purpose Linux environment, FSMLabs says.

VxIT supports APIs that include the semantics of VxWorks tasks, synchronization, and I/O constructs. The kit builds on these APIs, as well as native Linux interfaces, to enable developers to port and re-factor their applications to meet the performance and portability needs of next-generation embedded software, FSMLabs says.

FSMLabs CEO Victor Yodaiken said, “Previous attempts at legacy RTOS application migration to Linux offered small API sets and at best soft real-time execution under Linux. With VxIT, developers can port existing VxWorks code to RTLinux directly, without need for extensive recoding or re-architecting.�

Erik Leussink, a developer with FSMLabs customer Atos Origin, said, �VxIT enabled us to port our existing application to RTLinuxPro using unchanged source code.”


FSMLabs and its channel partners are shipping VxIT for RTLinux now, priced on a per-developer basis, as a “bolt-on” to the RTLinuxPro Developer Kit. VxIT supports single- and symmetric multi-processor (SMP) systems based on IA-32, AMD x86 and compatible architectures, and PowerPC. Inquiries are invited regarding VxIT for NetBSD, or for the ARM and MIPS architectures.

VxIT includes run-time libraries, full source code for each supported architecture, a regression test suite, and documentation and technical support. Training, long-term support, and additional porting/design services are also available.

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