Status of porting EPICS to the LynxOS/Pentium platform

T. V. Salikova1, A. D. Oreshkov1, Ying Wu2, John M. J. Madey2
1Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, 2Duke University

The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) requires expensive hardware and software to provide the high performance and high reliability required for the accelerator controls. Not more than several years ago, personal computers based on Intel x86 microprocessors lacked the computing power to compete with workstations such as Sun's SPARCstations. However, with the arrival of the ever powerful, high performance, and low cost Intel Pentium chips and Pentium clones in the recent years, high performance PCs become an attractive alternative to the expensive workstations. The recent trends to search for cost effectively solutions in the research laboratories provides us enough incentives to port EPICS control system to a PC platform. LANL group has used PCs successfully in the EPICS environment in which a PC running WindowsNT (or Windows95) is employed as a host computer to provide an operator interface (OPI). A PC or a MVME167 mounted in a VME crate is used as a target computer to operate as an Input Output Controller (IOC). At present time, a standard EPICS IOC uses VxWorks as the real time operating system. The most recent version of VxWorks is provided by Wind Rivers as a part of a rather expensive TORNADO integrated environment tool kit for software cross-development. One of soluitions to reduce the overall cost of both IOC and OPI systems, is to port EPICS software to a homogeneous environment of PCs running LynxOS. This approach also simplifies the installation and development of EPICS based control systems. This paper will report the status of porting EPICS to the LynxOS/Pentium platform. Since the LynxOS provides a full set of necessary UNIX and POSIX standard libraries, as LynxOS become available on more platforms such as x86, PowerPC, 68K and SPARC processor families in both native and cross development environments, we hope that the EPICS codes ported by us can be easily adopted by other platforms.

(posted 13-Nov-97 jw)