By Niheer Patel
We at Wind River congratulate the Linux Foundation on its launch of the Zephyr Project, a small, scalable real-time operating system (RTOS) for connected, resource constrained devices. The project is an open source collaborative effort uniting leaders from across the industry to build a best-in-breed RTOS optimized for resource constrained devices, across multiple architectures. The vision for the Zephyr Project is to create a true community-based, open source RTOS that is more than just called and licensed “open,” but actually lives and breathes the “open source way.”
As the number of connected devices in the world continues to grow with the Internet of Things (IoT), we are seeing their size shrink dramatically. Zephyr allows developers to scale their application to fit into these resource-constrained environments.
With IoT, enabling device development at scale is critical. To this end, we launched Wind River Rocket in November 2015, which is essentially the commercial version of Zephyr (and along with Intel® System Studio for Microcontrollers, is the first to support Zephyr). The fundamental goal was to reduce the barriers to entry for embedded software application development required to really drive the 20 billion connected devices we all expect to see in the next few years.
Zephyr and Rocket are complementary forces that seek to achieve rapid expansion of these connected devices. For this reason, Wind River contributed the Rocket kernel to Zephyr who brings together industry leaders in software and hardware to build an RTOS for IoT. Zephyr is perfect for users who need to customize the kernel configuration or create additional driver support to achieve the specific goals of their projects. Silicon vendors and OEMs can leverage Zephyr by developing and upstreaming board support to Zephyr or even joining the project to help influence the project’s direction.
Wind River will continue to maintain and deliver new features to the Zephyr kernel. Rocket, now a lock-step downstream version of Zephyr, takes care of the OS configuration and hardware integration with Wind River Helix App Cloud for a streamlined development experience. App Cloud users can focus efforts on their value-added applications without worrying about the complexities of the underlying RTOS, low-level programming languages, and build tools. Wind River customers and Zephyr project members can benefit from Rocket’s commercial support and App Cloud’s development environment to reach new types of embedded developers.
If you’re at Embedded World next week, please visit members of the Rocket and Zephyr teams to learn more about both offerings and how to get involved!