By Michael Weinstein
Updating an iconic product that has been setting the standard for over 25 years is no trivial task. How does a successful company go about making such a product more relevant to the changing customer needs and market dynamics while maintaining the unique appeal that secured it the status of a market leader in the first place? Enter BMW.
The BMW 3 Series had been a gold standard of sports sedans for some 28 years when the company introduced its fifth-generation 3-Series model . The new 3 Series underwent significant restyling and delivered substantial performance enhancements with powerful engine options, improved suspension and stronger brakes. Yet it sustained the unmatched combination of smooth powertrain, brilliant handling, and comfortable yet driver-focused interiors. As Car-and-Driver put it, the redesigned car looked “unmistakably new but distinctly familiar”. Outcome? The new 3 Series became the best-selling luxury car in the U.S. and Canada and won numerous awards, including the 2006 World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show and 2005/06 Japan’s Import Car of the Year.
Enter Wind River and the VxWorks RTOS … A de-facto industry standard since 1987. Enviable brand equity. Enormous install base. And it just got a major face lift. Will VxWorks 7, announced today, be a breakaway release that will see the competition in the rear-view mirror? You bet. Like the BMW3-Series, the reinvented VxWorks 7 is “unmistakably new but distinctly familiar”—it brings important enhancements while sustaining the rock-solid determinism, reliability, multi-core acumen, and unprecedented technology ecosystem it is famous for. A modular, scalable, connected, and secure VxWorks 7 lets Wind River better meet the needs of our bread-and-butter customers and also tap into the new opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT), such as the market for wearable devices.
VxWorks 7 enables customers to gain a competitive edge by bringing industry-leading devices to market faster, while reducing risks and development costs. Here’s how: The modular, future-proof architecture of VxWorks 7 separates the core kernel from protocols, applications, and other packages, which allows customers to add new features and fix bugs with minimal rework, testing, or recertification. A combination of the VxWorks microkernel (just 20KB in size!) and the standard kernel, both built on the same VxWorks platform, enables a unique level of scalability. Now customers can reduce costs by leveraging one RTOS foundation across different classes of devices, big and small, complex and simple. Connectivity is a key requirement of IoT, and VxWorks 7 supports industry-leading standards and protocols (such as USB, CAN, Bluetooth, and Continua) and delivers high-performance networking capabilities out of the box. As the pervasive connectedness of IoT exposes devices to more security risks than ever before, VxWorks 7 incorporates comprehensive security features to protect devices in development, during boot up, in operation, while transmitting data, and when idle or powering down. Add the enhanced graphics support (OpenVG-based stack and hardware-assisted 3D graphics drivers) plus beefed-up storage capabilities (support for NAND, VFS, and secure storage of file system data)—and it becomes clear why VxWorks 7 is poised to reaffirm Wind River’s sustained leadership in RTOS technology and delight customers in both its core markets and the rapidly growing world of IoT.