Thursday, June 04, 2009

Intel to Acquire Wind River Systems ~ Update 1

VDC’s Analysis

VDC's investigation and analysis of Intel's planned acquisition of Wind River Systems is on going, but the following represents some of our initial thoughts and questions after considering today's news:

One could well imagine the discussions that are going on both sides of the embedded market. On one side, you have ARM, Freescale, MIPS and a host of other silicon partners. On the other side, you have software and tools suppliers such as Microsoft, Green Hills Software, LynuxWorks, QNX Software Systems, MontaVista Software, and a host of other software suppliers.

Today’s announcement indicates that “As an Intel subsidiary, Wind River will continue to develop innovative, commercial grade software platforms that support multiple hardware architectures …” Considering this statement, it’s somewhat easy to understand that questions are being raised and the implications being examined from both sides.

How might this acquisition limit the timely access to technology roadmaps and support for current relationships within the supply-side of the embedded software market? Could suppliers find themselves at a disadvantage somewhere down the road?

Wind River Systems supports a host of silicon architectures from multiple suppliers. It is critical for both the hardware and software segments to align silicon and software well in advance of availability. This requires strategic relationships in which technology roadmaps and engineering support is leveraged by both parties. Is it reasonable to expect that ARM or Freescale or MIPS amongst others would share their technology roadmaps with an Intel subsidiary so that their architectures could be enabled through Wind River’s software solutions?

There are certainly more questions than answers at this time and discussions on both sides of the embedded market will continue as they sort out the ramifications of such an acquisition.

Wind River is hosting their Q1 FY2010 earnings call this afternoon (June 4) at 5 p.m. EDT. This is certain to be topic discussed and questioned further during the course of the call. Details on the call can be found at"

Stay tuned as VDC looks to comment further.