Kuka Controls , a developer of real-time operating system (RTOS) software, has released CeWin 3.3 and VxWin 3.1 real-time extensions. These non-proprietary extensions allow real-time operating systems, either Microsoft Windows CE or Wind River VxWorks, to reside concurrently on a single processor with Windows XP, enabling an application to be optimized for the features of each operating system.
Windows CE or VxWorks are available for data acquisition, motion control, and PLC operations, while Windows XP handles the high-end visualization and connectivity features.
According to Kuka, designers can incorporate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) versions of VxWorks or Windows CE (RTOS) with a COTS version of Windows XP into their systems to produce hard real-time performance with the Windows XP operating system. No proprietary optimizations or modifications need to be made. Communication between the RTOS and Windows occurs over a shared memory TCP/IP network interface.
The addition of Windows XP standardizes connectivity with the enterprise and offers a selection of graphical interfaces as well as availability of Windows XP applications. Use of a single system also increases overall reliability while lowering hardware and programming costs and reducing power consumption and system size and weight. Applications can be scaled to multiple CPUs using a hardware network interface.
David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering