A yet another interesting hypervisor project announcement from The Linux Foundation. The project will provide a framework for industry leaders to build an open source embedded hypervisor specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT).
This new embedded reference hypervisor project is called ACRN (pronounced “acorn”). With engineering and code contributions from Intel Corporation, the hypervisor was built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, and optimised to streamline embedded development.
ACRN is comprised of two main components: the hypervisor and its device model, complete with rich I/O mediators. Intel’s experience and leadership in virtualisation technology was key to the initial development of this hypervisor solution.
ACRN’s small, real-time footprint will help developers as they are flexible enough to accommodate different uses. It will also provide developers consideration for safety-critical workloads. Consolidating a diverse set of IoT workloads with mixed-criticality on to a single platform helps reduce both development and deployment costs allowing for a more streamlined system architecture. For example, electronic control unit (ECU) consolidation in automotive applications.
Though open source hypervisor options are currently available, but none share ACRN’s vision of an open source hypervisor solution optimised for embedded and IoT products.
“ACRN’s optimisation for resource-constrained devices and focus on isolating safety-critical workloads and giving them priority make the project applicable across many IoT use cases. We’re pleased to welcome project ACRN and invite embedded developers to get involved in the new community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation.
ACRN is open to incorporate input from the open source, embedded, and IoT developer communities. The project will encourage collaboration and code contributions to the project. As of now, ADLINK, Aptiv, Intel Corporation, LGE, and Neusoft Corporation have already joined the ACRN project.
ACRN will have a Linux-based service OS and the ability to simultaneously run multiple types of guest operating systems, providing a powerful solution for workload consolidation.