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Wind River Systems Inc. made a move Monday to secure a stronger foothold in the embedded space. The company donated more than 300,000 lines of code to the Eclipse Foundation in an effort to make proprietary development tools a thing of the past.
Four Eclipse projects will receive contributions: C/C++ Development Tools (CDT) Project, Platform Project, and both Target Management (TM) and Device Debugging (DD) subprojects within the Device Software Development Platform (DSDP) Project.
Wind River executives said the contribution attempt to accelerate an open-standard development framework, benefiting both device software developers and enterprise and desktop C and C++ software developers. In the long run it will enable manufactures to bring products to market faster at a lower cost
Future Eclipse projects from Wind River will entail special plug-ins required by developers to design, debug and test applications for mobile phones or aircrafts, for example. "There are many benefits to Eclipse, but the open framework doesn't move along on its own," said Steven Heintz, Wind River director of product management for developer tools. "It needs help from experts in specific technology, and financial contributions. We dedicate eight full-time developers to move along projects, and about a quarter of a million dollars a year."
Those contributions help developers gain access to more than 400 commercial and open source plug-ins to design, build, test and support software from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments and others. Code contributions from Wind River come from the latest version of the company's commercial device software suite, Wind River Workbench 2.5, also released Monday.
Interarbor Solutions LLC principal analyst Dana Gardner said the consumer devise market continues to adopt development practices typically used in the PC and the server space. "The applications for memory and processing power in smaller devices are becoming more complex, so you need to look at the development process behind that to make them easier to develop," he said. "Companies that will benefit most are those looking to consolidate and uniform frameworks for embedded devices."
New to Wind River Workbench 2.5 are features to help customers develop and test devices based on its Linux-based platforms. New features are meant to shorten edit-compile-debug cycles, company executives said. Developers can download an evaluation copy of the product at http://evaluations.windriver.com.
Eclipse Foundation director of marketing Ian Skerrett said Wind River's donation demonstrates commitment to the group's projects. "Most equate Eclipse with Java, but if you look at the mobile and embedded space many more real time operating system vendors are getting involved," he said, noting Nokia and Motorola, among others, as examples.
Wind River also released a "Commercial Grade" Linux product line with new features geared toward consumer device and network equipment manufacturers.
The Linux editions of the Wind River General Purpose Platform, Platform for Consumer Devices and Platform for Network Equipment will ship with the latest version of the company's Eclipse-based device software development suite Wind River Workbench 2.5, built on 2.6.14 Linux kernel released in October 2005.