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Chapter 5

VxWorks was originally a C runtime library for VRTX from MicroTec Research. Now called as wind and maintained by wind-river systems. VRTX has two multitasking kernels. VRTX is the first commercial real time operating system certified by Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) for mission and time critical applications. VxWorks operating system was first used on Mars Pathfinder, which NASA sent to Mars in 1997. After Pathfinder landed on Mars and started to respond to ground commands and take science and engineering data, its computer repeatedly reset itself. This frequent reset made worldwide daily. With a aid of trace generation and logging tool and extensive instrumentation of major services (such as pipe, message queues, and interrupt handling), which were used during debugging and testing and were left in the system. They fixed the problem on the ground and thus saved the day for Pathfinder. The high priority task caused it to miss its deadline, and the computer was rest as a consequence. The fix was, of course, to enable priority inheritance. After this an improved version came into picture. Improvement was you can specify what options are to be enabled and what options are to be disabled via global configuration parameters. VxWorks supports a wide range of industry standards include the IEEE standard.


VxWorks is Microkernel-based development and execution environment for complex real-time and embedded application on a variety of target processors. Three highly integrated components are included with VxWorks: High performance scalable real time operating system which executes on a target processor Set of cross-development tools which are used on a host development system

Full range of communications software options such as Ethernet or serial line for the target connection to the host.


1. High performance real time Kernel facilitates : real time Kernel facilitates include multitasking with preemptive priority scheduling, intertask synchronization and

communication facilities, interrupt handling support, watchdog timer and memory management 2. Development Environment: there are two kinds of development environment namely Command Line Interface (CLI) and Integrated Development Environment (IDE ). 3. C++ development support: VxWorks include c compiler and C++ support. 4. WDB: wind debug is a Source Level Debugger. 5. Performance Evaluation Tools: tools include browser, cross wind, launch, vxcolour, windsh. 6. VxWorks Simulator: simulates vxworks target to connect to tornado

7. Target Agent: target agent enables vxworks target to connect to tornado IDE. 8. Utility Libraries: utility libraries include C++ routines for interrupt handling , wind debug, message logging , memory allocation, string information and scanning, linear and ring buffer and lined list. 9. Board Support Packages (BSP).