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river systems

Wind River Systems

Wind River Systems, Inc. is a publicly owned company providing embedded systems, development tools for embedded systems, middleware, and other types of software. The company was founded in Berkeley, California in 1981 by Jerry Fiddler and David Wilner.

Wind River concentrates on middleware: software and operating systems, for information appliances and devices. Their products are used in cellular phones, auto braking systems, routers, digital cameras, projectors, set-top boxes, traffic signals, Mars Rovers MER-A and MER-B and more. They were the final proprietors of BSD/OS, the commercial BSD operating system.

Among their flagship products are the VxWorks real-time operating system (which began as an add-on to the VRTX operating system in the early 1980s), the Eclipse-based Wind River Workbench IDE (which has superseded the previous Tornado environment) and the Wind River Compiler (formerly the DIAB compiler, bought from the Swedish company Dataindustrier AB). Wind River's head offices are located at 500 Wind River Way, Alameda, California. As of 2004, their strategic theme is device software optimization.

In 1999 Wind River bought one of their major competitors, Integrated Systems Inc., makers of pSOS. Wind River has since discontinued the pSOS product line and has recommended existing pSOS customers transition to VxWorks.

In 2004 Wind River announced a partnership with Red Hat to create a new Linux-based distribution for embedded devices, and in 2005 Wind River released the first version of its embedded Linux distribution. Wind River has since ended its partnership with Red Hat and now ships its own Linux distribution optimized for embedded Linux development. Wind River Linux supports a variety of embedded device architectures including ARM, MIPS, PPC, in addition to x86. In December 2007 Wind River released Wind River Linux 2.0 a significant update from its previous 1.5 release.

On February 20, 2007, FSMLabs' embedded market was acquired by Wind River Systems (press release here). Wind River maintains the free versions of RTLinux previously offered by FSMLabs; and Wind River is committed to continue to offer the FSMLab approach to RTLinux as part of their product line rebranded as Wind River Real-Time Core for Wind River Linux.

Today, their competitors include Green Hills Software (makers of the INTEGRITY and velOSity RTOS), QNX Inc. (makers of the QNX Neutrino system), LynuxWorks (makers of the LynxOS RTOS), Mentor Graphics (makers of Nucleus RTOS), and to a lesser extent the real-time and embedded product lines of Microsoft (largely Windows CE and Windows NT Embedded) and various products based on Linux made by MontaVista, TimeSys and others.

On August 7th, 2007, Palm Inc. announced that it had chosen Wind River Systems as the software solution for its aborted Palm Foleo.

Wind River also sponsors the BASIC WonderCup Challenge, a San Francisco Bay Area science knowledge competition for high school students.

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