Posts Tagged ‘embedded hypervisor’

28 March, 2016

My latest article at embedded.com has been published:

Embedded Hypervisors

The idea of a hypervisor in a powerful computer is well known. It facilitates the simultaneous use of multiple operating systems and provides a virtualized environment in which unmodified legacy software may be deployed. Hypervisors have a place in modest embedded systems too. This article considers the characteristics of an embedded hypervisor, what facilities it can offer and some typical applications.

I wrote this article because, wherever I looked, information about hypervisors seemed to come at the subject from a particular perspective, which was not generally helpful to embedded developers. This is my attempt to rectify, or at least improve on, that.

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10 February, 2015

Although I doubt that many engineers habitually view things this way, marketing folks like to divide the world into sectors. So, embedded systems might be in telecoms, medical, automotive, consumer, mil-aero, or industrial. There are probably others that I have not thought of. Each sector has its own characteristics and may or may not sound interesting to be involved in. Automotive is quite high profile just now, as the amount of electronics being packed into cars is increasing daily. Medical is important to us all and is also growing fast. Mobile telephony is a kind of merger between telecoms and consumer and has a certain appeal for many engineers.

But I have something of an affection for industrial systems … Read the rest of this entry »

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16 December, 2014

As embedded systems become even more ubiquitous and complex, there is an increasing concern about security. The term means different things to different people, but I am thinking of the requirement for systems to be less vulnerable to tampering. Security measures are aimed at preventing, deterring or delaying the work of a hacker, who is trying to change the functionality of the device in some way. This might be to extract data from it or change its operation. In any case, the goal is likely to be theft or malevolence of some kind.

If a system really needs to be bullet proof, industrial grade encryption is called for. This normally requires specific hardware support, which, whilst readily available, might be considered overkill for an application where such high security is not necessary. In such cases, there are other options … Read the rest of this entry »

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16 September, 2014

I have written before about multicore systems – here for example – and looked at AMP vs SMP and various other aspects of the technology. As the use of multicore designs has become increasingly mainstream, the options and possible configurations available has increased drastically.

A particular facet is the incorporation of a hypervisor in an AMP system … Read the rest of this entry »

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3 February, 2014

Complexity never, in itself, impresses me. I am impressed people’s ability to understand complex ideas and create complex machines, but a truly elegant and simple solution is always what gives me most pleasure. This might beg the question as to why I work in software – a business well known for creating incredibly complex things. I often ask myself the same question.

Systems where there are safety issues are a particular concern and a context, which is of interest to us all, is automotive systems … Read the rest of this entry »

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2 December, 2013

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25 November, 2013

I recently discussed hypervisor technology and how it is being applied in embedded systems. This coincided with Mentor Embedded’s announcement of Mentor Embedded Hypervisor. I described what a hypervisor is and something about how it works, but I did not address applications for hypervisors – where they are used and why.

The initial announcement that I quoted, was focused on using hypervisors in automotive applications, but that is far from the whole story … Read the rest of this entry »

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11 November, 2013

Some technologies, it seems to me, should not really exist. They do, however, because they address a specific need. Typically, such technologies stretch something to make it perform in a way that was not originally intended. An example would be the fax machine. In a paper-based office environment, there was a frequent need to move documents from A to B. Initially, this resulted in the mail. But fax was an ingenious way to use phone lines to deliver a similar result. As soon as email became widespread, fax disappeared almost overnight.

The technology that I have in mind today is hypervisors, which are a software layer that enables multiple operating systems to be run simultaneously on a single hardware platform. They have been used for decades on mainframes, more recently on desktop computers, but are now beginning to be very relevant to embedded developers … Read the rest of this entry »

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@colin_walls tweets

  • My latest video blog is now available. I talk about the use of a memory management unit [MMU] in an embedded system https://t.co/aSVECLARgl
  • Embedded software article: RTOS Revealed #6 look at the additional facilities that and RTOS may offer & beyond https://t.co/GXg8ivM3gW
  • #programmingTip To maintain real time integrity, keep ISRs as short as possible - unload the real work onto a task.

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