Simplifying system consolidation by integrating a hypervisor on x86 COMs

02-02-2024 | Congatec | Industrial

congatec now includes the hypervisor in all of its new x86 COMs. The hypervisor is available as a straightforward addition to the company's x86-based COMs. The hypervisor will be implemented in firmware and standard on all its x86 COMs, automatically lowering the barrier to start working on system consolidation. Simplifying real-time virtualisation for system consolidation makes it easy to save costs; reduce system count; and reduce SWaP.

"Consolidation will become significantly easier with the hypervisor directly included. The ability to simultaneously run multiple operating systems, including real-time operating systems, and have them all run at maximum efficiency, will be a major differentiator for our customers," said Andreas Bergbauer, manager solution management at congatec. "Our modules will be more application-ready than any competing solution, OEMs will be able to reduce their NRE, and they will get to market faster. It has never been easier to leverage the benefits of system consolidation as with our Hypervisor-on-Module."

By optimising the allocation of OSs (and applications) across multiple cores, more functionalities can be provided, decreasing the system count to one. Moreover, the system resources of multicore designs can be fully used, increasing efficiency and lowering energy consumption. This allows OEMs to build more functionality and efficiency in a single consolidated system. Costs are saved by reducing the amount of necessary hardware and cabling and by minimising SWaP. This allows OEMs to consolidate real-time and non-real-time critical applications in parallel on a single x86 Computer-on-Module.

The hypervisor enables developers to run multiple OS simultaneously on one single COM. Every OS is assigned to run on its own core or set of cores and I/Os (such as PCIe, Ethernet, and USB) so that each OS can run independently. Booting or suspending the operation of any OS will not affect any other. With the hypervisor, customers get a software and hardware package already qualified to support real-time applications, as the real-time behaviour of the modules has already been verified.

As an optional add-on, the hypervisor supports nested virtualisation with container and VM support. Nested virtualisation is a technique where a VM runs on top of another hypervisor rather than on physical hardware, affording full virtualisation freedom. Individual workloads can be decoupled from each other to increase reliability; for example, containers (or other virtualisation solutions) could be run within a VM.

When functions are separated among virtual machines, the collaboration between these virtual machines remains highly flexible.

Operating systems supported by hypervisor out of the box include Microsoft Windows 10 and 11, Debian, Ubuntu, VxWorks, Xenomai, TenAsys Intime distributed RTOS, QNX Neutrino, and Real-Time Linux.

Support for other operating systems can be added upon request. Different operating systems may run in different execution modes simultaneously and any mix of SMP and single-CPU, 32-bit and 64-bit is possible.

Embedded World, Hall 3 at Stand 241, 9-11 April 2024.


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.