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Making Zephyr Projects a Breeze – How Wind River Empowers Embedded Developers

By June 20, 2024No Comments

This blog is written by Graham Morphew, a Senior Director of Product Marketing at Wind River. It originally ran on the Wind River website. For more Zephyr development tips and articles, please visit their blog.

In the world of embedded and IoT development, having a reliable and efficient real-time operating system (RTOS) is crucial. Zephyr, an open source RTOS, has gained significant traction in recent years for its flexibility and robustness in designs that use microcontrollers and other small, embedded processors. However, implementing and optimizing Zephyr for specific use cases can be a challenging task. This is an area where Wind River can provide expert assistance by offering engineering services to help developers unleash the full potential of Zephyr.

Understanding Wind River’s Professional Services

It might seem counter-intuitive for Wind River to offer services for another RTOS when we are best known for our industry-leading, highly popular VxWorks RTOS. However, the name Zephyr comes from Greek mythology and means gentle breeze or westerly wind, so who better to work with on your Zephyr project than Wind River. In fact, Wind River was one of the founding members of the Zephyr Project and provided most of the original code base. Needless to say, there are strong ties within Wind River to Zephyr technology. In today’s complex and diverse world of embedded systems, multiple operating systems are often required to build the next generation of software-defined devices. This is why Wind River offers both VxWorks and Linux operating systems.  Supporting Zephyr offers Wind River customers a small footprint RTOS alternative when designing systems that include memory constrained microcontrollers. One popular trend we see is the use of Zephyr alongside VxWorks or Linux in big.LITTLE architectures. big.LITTLE architecture is a heterogeneous computing architecture conceived by Arm, which combines smaller cores with more powerful cores in a single SoC.

When it comes to professional services for Zephyr projects, Wind River offers a range of service offerings to meet various needs and budgets. Zephyr RTOS services are designed to seamlessly supplement your team’s capabilities. Because Zephyr is open source, one of the most frequent requests we get from customers is to provide commercially available long-term support and maintenance for their Zephyr design. This is extremely helpful for projects that deploy as a component of a larger mission-critical system where there is a service-level agreement with an end customer or user.  In addition, many our customers leverage our expertise to assist with architectural design, extend the skillset of their team, augment project staff, and even help gain influence within the Zephyr Project community, all of which will significantly accelerate the innovation and deployment success of an embedded design.

Realizing the Benefits of Wind River’s Expertise

With decades of experience in developing, deploying, and maintaining intelligent, real-time embedded systems, the Wind River team can optimize Zephyr for a variety of use cases, enabling companies to save time, reduce costs, and deliver superior performance.  We’ve helped several companies build Zephyr-based designs in automotive, IoT, medical, industrial and networking market segments. Take a look at one of our recent case studies where we helped a traditional networking company quickly pivot a existing product line to take advantage of a first mover opportunity in the growing automotive gateway market. With Wind River’s professional services help, this company was able to achieve a time to market advantage while also reducing risk.

Safeguarding Quality and Mitigating Risks

By engaging Wind River’s professional services, companies can improve the quality of their Zephyr-based products while mitigating risks. The experience and knowledge of the Wind River team enable them to optimize Zephyr for products across all industries, from IoT devices to mission-critical systems. In addition to customization and optimization, Wind River also offers valuable recommendations and best practices for success with Zephyr. They advise developers to start small and simple, beginning with basic examples to familiarize themselves with Zephyr’s architecture and API. Moreover, developers are encouraged to leverage the active Zephyr community for assistance and to gain insights from experienced developers. Wind River’s professional services provide a comprehensive support system that guides developers through every stage of their Zephyr journey.

Conclusion

Wind River’s professional services for Zephyr empower embedded developers to overcome challenges and achieve success in their projects. With flexible engagement models, extensive experience, and expertise in optimizing Zephyr for various use cases, Wind River is a reliable partner for any company looking to leverage the power of Zephyr. Whether you require consulting and support on a time and materials basis, a pre-purchased pool of hours, or a fixed-fee proposal, Wind River has tailored options to suit your needs. Unlike many other vendors of embedded operating systems, Wind River is open to working with OS technologies that are not our products.  We believe in embracing open source projects and supporting our customers’ success, using the best-suited technology for their project. By engaging Wind River’s services, companies can improve the quality, mitigate risks, and get to market faster, ensuring their Zephyr-based products meet the highest standards of performance and reliability.

Contact Wind River today for a free OS architectural design consultation, to explore which OS is right for your next project.

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