Altan Solves Critical Firmware Toolchain Challenge
About Wind River
Wind River is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world.
Founded in 1981, Wind River is a global leader in embedded software for intelligent connected systems. Wind River’s top tier customers include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Motorola, NASA, Mitsubishi, Philips, Siemens, and Samsung. Wind River’s winning software solutions stretch across a spectrum of diverse applications, from military aircraft to spacecraft, to networking equipment and industrial robots.
Perfecting the Workbench IDE
Most proprietary development solutions limit flexibility, restrict interoperability of systems and tools, and actually increase the costs of development. When developing Workbench, Wind River took a different approach towards helping their customers succeed.
Based on the Eclipse platform, Workbench was designed to offer a collection of tools that could accelerate time-to-market for developers building devices with VxWorks and Wind River Linux.
Although Workbench is the embedded industry’s most advanced integrated development environment – highly optimized for rapid debugging of current and next generation embedded firmware – it lacked the ability to effectively debug firmware generated by the broader, established range of firmware toolchains, in turn reducing its potential market share.
In many cases, OEMs are unwilling to risk porting their application to the most current version of firmware development toolchain or operating system because of the incredible verification cost.
Where Altan Came Into the Picture
Altan Technologies were already playing a consulting role for Wind River, working on a critical utility that formed part of Wind River’s visionClick on-chip debugging solution. This solution is used for embedded system debugging, with special capabilities for hardware bring up. These capabilities allow engineers who develop hardware, firmware and device drivers to ensure the appropriate level of connection and reliability before they have to run an operating system on their target.
In order to help Wind River offer Workbench to a broader market, Altan worked to utilize one particular format that Workbench handled with ease. They were able to implement a specialized translator application that converts firmware object files from a broad range of industry formats to a single format – one that Workbench was highly tuned to debug efficiently.
Altan developed a specialized translator, based on their unique knowledge of the broad array of embedded system object file formats. This firmware development toolchain component translates from a diverse range of object file and debugging information formats, to the format best understood by Workbench.
Altan’s complete grasp of the issues facing our customers and their accuracy in delivering the perfect solution are simply remarkable.
“Altan’s complete grasp of the issues facing our customers and their accuracy in delivering the perfect solution are simply remarkable,” says Emmanuel Touron, Senior Engineering Manager at Wind River.
The performance of the utility delivered was greatly optimized to match Wind River’s most stringent requirements – and those of their demanding top tier customers.
The Customer Results
Wind River Workbench is able to integrate the industry’s most powerful development tools to monitor, analyze, and debug at each phase of development, providing early detection of potential defects and increasing the overall quality and reliability of a customer’s product. Workbench’s support for multiple operating systems, architectures, and programming languages gives companies unprecedented flexibility to standardize on a single development framework across the enterprise.
Altan’s contribution allows Wind River to sell Workbench to the broadest array of customers. And also gives OEM’s the opportunity to use Workbench as the industry standard IDE for all their firmware development needs.
Altan Technologies deserves the highest praise.
“Altan Technologies deserves the highest praise,” adds Emmanuel Touron. “They perfected a means to translate multiple and various types of debug formats into a single protocol, which is quite exceptional. To have such a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of all the debug formulas necessary for such a conversion requires a unique intelligence and expertise.”
• Company: Wind River
• Product: Workbench
• Contact: Emmanuel Touron, Senior Engineering Manager