By Michel Genard
Frost & Sullivan annually presents the Technology Leadership Award to the company that demonstrates uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies that deliver significant customer value. Wind River is proud to be recognized this year in the avionics software platform category for VxWorks® 653, which has more than 350 customers across more than 600 programs, involving more than 100 civilian and military aircraft. Wind River avionics customers include Agusta Westland, Airbus, Collins Aerospace, and Northrop Grumman to name a few.
VxWorks 653 is a safe, secure, and reliable real-time operating system (RTOS) that delivers an open virtualization platform with robust time and space partitioning on the latest ARM®, Intel®, and PowerPC multi-core processor platforms. It serves as the RTOS foundation for the recently released Wind River Helix™ Virtualization Platform (Helix Platform).
Frost & Sullivan outlined the following industry challenges in their report that VxWorks 653, and now Helix Platform address:
The avionics market is growing; with the increasing number of aircraft in production and air traffic growth, the need for software-based avionics functions has become critical. Avionics suppliers are looking for ways to leverage impactful tools to solve avionics technology issues, shifting from single core to multi-core architecture, as technology running on single core architectures is becoming obsolete. Research from Frost & Sullivan is showing a shift towards IoT, which also affects avionics suppliers; through sensorization, new platforms can record and deliver important sets of information that will lead to major changes in how modern aircraft are maintained and repaired.
The avionics industry seeks to satisfy the need for safety-critical software platforms that enable cost-effectiveness for technology suppliers and meet strict safety certifications. Such mandates include DO-178C (airborne systems and equipment certification software considerations; Federal Aviation Administration qualifications), and ARINC 653—space and time partitioning in safety-critical avionics real-time operating systems. The need for safety platforms that can perform effectively and meet multiple certifications has proven a challenge for many avionics suppliers, thus affecting airlines as they adopt new architectures.
The development costs of adapting to multi-core avionics architectures are an issue; for customers to afford these types of platforms that protect and secure the operating systems, a set of software would need to adapt, enabling the future of connected avionics and devices globally to perform effectively.
Wind River has nearly four decades of experience helping to build safe, secure, and reliable computing systems for demanding commercial aircraft, space exploration, and military operations, and it is gratifying to be recognized for the significant role our software plays in addressing our customers’ needs.
Check out our latest VxWorks infographic here, which highlights the success of the product line.