Virtualization is opening the door to enhanced capabilities in the embedded computing landscape, in line with the priorities of embedded systems.
FREMONT, CA: Virtualization is transforming the enterprise space for quite some time now. Increasingly, virtualization has made inroads into the domain of embedded systems as well. According to Military Embedded System, robust virtualization software will enable a smooth operation of the embedded systems while supporting safety, security, and reliability as well as certification requirements of modern embedded systems. Virtualization for embedded systems can bring the legacy systems into the modern age and push the business on the route to innovation.
Embedded virtualization can significantly benefit enterprise use cases, especially the ones with additional requirements and varying priorities. The key applications for embedded virtualization include supporting disparate operating systems and increased security capability. The secondary applications of virtualization can include software license segregation, workload consolidation, and aiding the shift to multi-core processors. The need to support different operating systems is driven by the requirement to assist operating systems such as Windows and Linux. On the other hand, increased security is especially important in systems with mixed challenges to separate the less-critical apps from the ones with more critical real-time, security, or safety requirements.
Applications of virtualization in embedded systems are extremely integrated. Furthermore, part of the solution needs to contain predictable high-bandwidth, low-latency communication paths with permissions guaranteed by a secure, trusted computing base (TCB). It is also essential to ensure that the latency of an embedded system is not compromised during virtualization. For instance, in the case of a safety-critical system, ensuring smooth operational capability is essential.
Focusing on hardware support, advancement in technologies has certainly improved the prospects of virtualization in the space of embedded devices. For instance, modern processors such as Intel VT-x and VT-d are enabling hardware-assisted virtualization. Apart from chip-level technologies used for virtualization, board-level decisions also impact system performance. Thus, virtualization efforts that are aligned to the priorities of embedded systems’ capabilities will yield maximum returns in terms of revenues as well as operational capabilities.
See also: Top Virtualization Solution Companies