iWave ports VxWorks on Xilinx UltraScale+

Article By : Nitin Dahad

VxWorks 21.03 has now been ported on iWave Systems iW-RainboW-G30M system-on-module, powered by the ZU 4/5/7 MPSoC.

Systems developer and integrator iWave Systems has released a VxWorks board support package (BSP) for its Xilinx UltraScale+ MPSoC system-on-modules.

VxWorks is suitable for embedded applications that require real time, deterministic performance and also require safety and security certification in industries such as medical, aerospace, robotics, and network infrastructure.

The combination of VxWorks – a leading real-time operating system from Wind River – on the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC provides a foundation for secure high-speed high-performance computing application, enabling the scalability, safety, and reliability required for mission critical applications. iWave said that VxWorks 21.03 has now been ported on its iW-RainboW-G30M system-on-module, powered by the ZU 4/5/7 MPSoC.

iWave Systems ZU 4-5-7 system on module
The ZU 4/5/7 system on module, integrated with high-speed interfaces when built with VxWorks BSP, ensures the scalability, safety, and reliability required for mission critical applications. (Source: iWave Systems)

The new BSP helps strengthen the safety, security, and modularity on the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC in industrial networking (time sensitive networking), high precision test and measurement equipment, medical imaging and avionics.  Safety-critical applications like automotive, industrial motor control, and avionics also need to have high reliability and safety integrity levels (ASILs), for which it is necessary to mitigate soft errors and implement redundancy to have better hard fault toleration; this is where the combination of VxWorks and UltraScale+ MPSoC is an ideal fit.

The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC series provide 64-bit processor scalability while combining real-time control with soft and hard engines for graphics, video, waveform, and packet processing. These adaptive systems on chip (SoCs) complement the decade-long availability of soft-core CPUs and other soft intellectual property (IP) for building systems on FPGAs. Adaptive SoCs are hence particularly useful when high performance is required for a portion of an algorithm that can be implemented in hardware using parallel or pipelined (or a combination) techniques.

VxWorks for real-time embedded

VxWorks is ideal for hard real-time embedded applications because it is a deterministic, priority based, pre-emptive RTOS with low latency and minimal jitter, with a few feature highlights as below:

  • Rich connectivity and communications: VxWorks has robust IPv4 and IPv6 stacks that are also time-sensitive networking (TSN) capable, guaranteeing real-time communications and packet delivery within a bounded time or latency on a switched Ethernet network
  • Modularity and robustness: easy to choose and adapt capabilities as required, changing the modules only as needed.
  • Fault-tolerant file system: VxWorks supports the Wind River highly reliable file system (HRFS) for fault tolerance and recovery of operations in case of system error and shutdown, as well as a FAT-compatible dosFS file system.
  • Mixed OS support: VxWorks supports communication with other operating systems in a mixed environment using OpenAMP, allowing developers to build interactive functionality across VxWorks real-time and other non–real-time environments.
  • Multimedia: VxWorks offers support for many standard graphic libraries, such as OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCV, and Vulkan, and libraries that handle JPEG and PNG images.
  • Security: VxWorks integrates an extensive and continuously evolving set of security capabilities that allows developers to meet rigorous security requirements and address security threats—from boot-up operation to power down. A few secure capabilities include kernel hardening, cryptography, firewall, TPM 2.0, secure data and configuration.

The value of the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC architecture lies in the tight integration of its programmable logic with the processing system, with a highlights including:

  • Heterogenous processing:Multiple processing engines enable the optimization of functions across an entire application, with programmable hardware providing further performance and safety handling.
  • Integrated H.264/H.265 video codec: Zynq UltraScale+ EV devices include a video codec capable of low latency simultaneous encode and decode up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.
  • Increased safety and multiple levels of security.
  • Superior processing, I/O and memory bandwidth.

SOM approach enables scalability

The SOM approach for the FPGA SoCs further allows greater scalability for end applications in terms of logic density, FPGA IOs and number of transceiver lanes. For example, a well-designed carrier board design architecture can cover system IO ports for multiple end products ranging from the Xilinx Zynq MPSoC UltraScale+ ZU4 with 192K logic cells to ZU19 with 1.1 million logic cells. Also, the SOM approach allows migration to new generation SoC solutions without changing the product mechanical architecture.


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