VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS)

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VxWorks-The Leading Real Time Operating System (RTOS) for the Intelligent Edge

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VxWorks® is the industry’s most trusted and widely deployed real-time operating system (RTOS) for mission- critical embedded systems that must be secure and safe. It delivers a proven, real-time, and deterministic runtime combined with a modern approach to development. Regardless of industry or device type, companies building intelligent edge systems rely on the VxWorks pedigree of security, safety, high performance, and reliability.

VxWorks® is the first and only real-time operating system (RTOS) in the world to support application deployment through containers.

The latest release of VxWorks includes support for OCI containers. Now you can use traditional IT-like technologies to develop and deploy intelligent edge software better and faster, without compromising the determinism and performance.



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Product Overview

VxWorks: Modern, Future-Proof, and Always Real-Time

VxWorks is a deterministic, priority-based preemptive RTOS with low latency and minimal jitter. It is built on an upgradable, future-proof architecture to help you rapidly respond to changing market requirements and technology advancements.


VxWorks is the only RTOS to support C++17, Boost, Rust, Python, pandas, and more, as well as an edge-optimized, OCI-compliant container engine — enabling you to use the languages, tools, and technologies you love most to innovate where it matters most.


VxWorks Customer Success Stories

VxWorks Customer Success Stories

See how our customers are finding success with VxWorks and our award-winning support services.


How VxWorks Helped

No multi-core design had ever been certified to avionics safety standards at the highest level of criticality on multiple cores. Then Wind River and Collins Aerospace collaborated on design, problem solving, and certification processes to achieve FAA CAST-32A multi-core certification objectives as part of the DO-178C DAL A certification process. For development flexibility, they chose VxWorks 653 Multi-core Edition, which enables multiple guest operating systems to run at different levels of safety criticality on a single hardware platform.


The Results

Together, Collins Aerospace and Wind River reduced certification risks while increasing available processing resources. Their collaborative approach to achieving DO-178C DAL A certification on multi-core bore the potential to fundamentally change the avionics industry. 




How Vxworks Helped

VxWorks has played a central role in the historic, ongoing mission of the Mars rover Curiosity, providing the core operating system of the spacecraft control system. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, has used VxWorks as its mission-critical OS brain for more than two decades. The total cost of the Curiosity project is approximately $2.5B and represents nearly a decade of passion and work, so the stakes are high, and a fail-proof, resilient RTOS is a core requirement.


The Results

On August 6, 2012, NASA advanced space exploration exponentially when it landed Curiosity in the Gale Crater on Mars. Curiosity was the most technologically advanced autonomous robotic spacecraft and geologist set ever to be deployed by any space venture. The groundbreaking mission is determining whether Mars is or has ever been capable of supporting life and is assessing its habitability for future human missions.





How VxWorks Helped

When KUKA Robotics wanted to introduce a new, more intelligent PC-based controller, the KR C4, the developers needed a software platform that could support multi-core processing to integrate management of robot, motion, sequence, and process control. They wanted to add functionality, including safety and connectivity, while reducing hardware costs. To meet all these needs, KUKA chose the VxWorks real-time operating system as the foundation for its robots. VxWorks enabled the team to cut costs and drive higher performance by replacing hardware-based functionality with software-based tasks.


The Results

The KR C4 represented a breakthrough for KUKA in its consolidation of control, HMI, and safety on a standard PC-based platform. The company developed an architecture supporting multiple integrated controllers that share a common database and infrastructure, with the scalability to handle workloads of varying criticality. With VxWorks, KUKA reduced its development risks and delivered an innovative product on time.





How VxWorks Helped

AgustaWestland wanted to deliver an innovative, futuristic aircraft in record time. To establish a breakthrough in vertical flight, the company’s goal was to design an all-electric rotorcraft in just six months. Project Zero is an unmanned, all-electric tilt rotor aircraft that hovers like a helicopter and converts to a fixed-wing aircraft in forward flight. AgustaWestland selected VxWorks 653 for its high performance, reliability, and ability to address the safety and security requirements of mission-critical applications.


The Result

The project team used the High-Integrity Flight Control Computer (Hi-FCC) platform developed by Selex ES, based on a Freescale (now NXP) Power Architecture® processor and VxWorks 653. This allowed the design team to use a mature, efficient platform combined with a high-quality software stack, with great support from both companies — reducing overall development and deployment time.





How VxWorks Helped

The Navy wanted to know whether an unmanned combat air system (UCAS) could operate safely and autonomously from aircraft carriers and be able to refuel in flight. Northrop Grumman responded with the X-47B, a 38-foot-long tailless unmanned aircraft designed to stealth specs, and it chose VxWorks as the software platform for the demonstrator program. Project partner GE Aviation also chose VxWorks as the foundation for its common core system, the backbone of UCAS-D computers, networks, and interfacing electronics.


The Results

VxWorks enabled Northrop Grumman to rapidly create, deploy, and maintain its safety-critical control system. Proven commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) certification products from Wind River helped the company rapidly and cost-effectively develop highly complex systems that meet rigorous military and commercial safety standards. In 2013, in recognition of this “great achievement in aeronautics and astronautics,” the U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman, and the X-47B industry team, including Wind River, received the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy.