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One of the biggest growth areas for Linux comes from the embedded market. Linux is used to power everything from consumer electronics to medical devices, thanks to embedded Linux distros.
Intel's Wind River division is one of the leading embedded Linux distributions and today announced the second update to its Wind River Linux 4 platform, which first debuted in October of 2010. The new update includes a pre-integrated graphics stack as well as a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack for applications.
Nithya Ruff, Senior Director of Global Linux Product Marketing at Wind River, told InternetNews.com that there has been increasing demand for integrated graphics for embedded devices. The new Wind River Linux update provides developers with a choice of the open source GTK and QT frameworks as well as Wind River's proprietary Tilcon graphics framework.
"Typically graphics stacks are optimized for desktops and are often bulky and not setup for embedded development," Ruff said.
Ruff explained that previous versions of Wind River Linux did allow developers access to graphics stacks. However, prior to the new update the components were not fully integrated or tested end-to-end for target platform architectures, including Intel's Atom chips as well as embedded chips from Texas Instruments.
The new Wind River integrated graphics stack update is not initially supporting chips from chip vendor Cavium. Cavium owns rival embedded Linux vendor MontaVista. Ruff explained that the target market for embedded graphics capabilities tends to be in the consumer space on Intel and ARM architectures.
Wind River is no stranger to embedded graphics either. The company also develops its own proprietary VxWorks embedded operating system. Ruff noted that VxWorks only supports the Tilcon suite.
The new Wind River Linux update also includes an integrate LAMP stack. Ruff noted that Wind River Linux has had bit and pieces of the stack before, but they're now being fully integrated and optimized for embedded.
"As a stack we have now brought it all together and made it more extensible and usable by embedded developers," Ruff said. "We've made LAMP much more usable on the embedded side from a footprint and tools perspective."
From a security perspective, Wind River is now including the strongSWAN, an open source VPN solution. In addition to Wind River Linux, Wind River has a secure Linux solution called Linux Secure. Ruff explained that Linux Secure provides addition cryptography capabilities as well as grSecurity and security certifications.
"We recommend Wind River Linux 4 for low security requirements, and for medium and high security requirements, Linux Secure is the product of choice," Ruff said.
Moving forward, the next major update of Wind River Linux will further improve security.
"Work with McAfee will be the highlight for next update," Ruff said. "We will make it an incredibly compelling security solution."
McAfee, like Wind River, is now a division of Intel. Ruff said that the Wind River Linux update will be available by the end of the year.