Hypervisor technology supports Windows XP on Intel Multi-Core CPUs - Embedded.com

Hypervisor technology supports Windows XP on Intel Multi-Core CPUs


Ravensburg, Germany – Real-Time Systems GmbH has just made available the latest version of its Real-Time Hypervisor software with additional support for simultaneous running of multiple operating systems on multi-core processors, including Windows XP.

Conventional virtualization solutions ('hypervisors') are generally implemented by interposing an additional software layer between an operating system and the CPU core that it uses. Unfortunately, this kind of solution often influences the deterministic behavior of the real-time system.

In contrast to that, RTS said its Real-time Hypervisor makes it possible to run ” simultaneously, independently and robustly ” a number of standard (homogeneous or heterogeneous) operating systems on a single x-86 multi-core execution platform. Moreover, the company claims, RTS software technology does not in the least interfere with any of the supported operating systems' timing behavior.

By means of the RTS Hypervisor's configuration file, users exclusively assign each operating system to (at least) one CPU core; in a comparable fashion, they assign other system resources, such as PCI devices or memory regions, to specific operating systems.

To secure and protect real-time system behavior, the RTS Hypervisor gives each real-time operating system direct control of its own assigned peripheral devices. And because such devices are neither virtualized nor simulated, standard off-the-shelf device drivers can be used.

To provide additional flexibility, a user may specify the booting sequence of the various operating systems; even in a fully-running system, any individual operating system can be re-booted, if desired. Despite the strict separation of the operating system environments, provision for inter-system communication has been made by means of Shared Memory and a Virtual Network.

Currently, the RTS Hypervisor supports Windows XP, Windows CE and Linux, as well as VxWorks, PharLab ETS and Microware OS-9. Support for additional operating systems is in progress. RTS Hypervisor, ver. 1.5, is available now. Version 2.0 is scheduled to be released in the fall.

To learn more, go to www.real-time-systems.com.

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