Going Beyond the Linux Kernel
NexusWareTM and the Linux BSP
So, everybody has a kernel. Does your hardware provider have a full Linux BSP?
VxWorks brought the concept of a board support package to life. They introduced a powerful concept of providing an embedded kernel, tools and support for a target embedded platform.
Performance Technologies' NexusWareTM Development Environment combined the Linux kernel, the adoption of the open-source movement and the BSP concept into a ready-to-use software platform. NexusWare brings the idea of a BSP to a whole new level - bringing an entire, full featured operating system to an embedded target.
NexusWare provides a Linux kernel. Subsequent releases have incorporated the most recent versions of the kernel. The kernel is fully ported to and tested on Performance Technologies' IPnexusTM family of hardware platforms and components. These are PowerPC-based WAN access platforms with a variety of interfaces.
NexusWare provides a full tool set for the kernel or application development. Three cross-compilers are included for i386 Linux, Solaris and Windows XP. A debugger is provided along with a number of debugging utilities that examine the board during runtime. A windowing developer's environment is included to make applications into projects that build together seamlessly.
Major Components of a NexusWareTM Development System
NexusWare provides hardware-specific items for the IPnexus platforms. All on-board hardware peripherals are supported through loadable modules. All of these modules are exposed through user layer APIs, giving the application full control over the hardware without worrying about direct hardware manipulation.
NexusWare provides packages. Networking is easy with DHCP and SNMP. Expanding end user control is simplified with Apache. WAN specific applications can take advantage of HDLC and Frame Relay (available with the addition of the Performance Technologies protocols). Voice technologies can be enhanced with SIP and MGCP.
With the availability of open source packages and the robustness of the NexusWare toolset, there are no limits to what the application developer can support. Packages can be brought down from the Web, recompiled with NexusWare and be running on the target hardware in a day's time. The increase in functionality and the reduction in time-to-market for a NexusWare user is something that has never been achieved before in embedded software.
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