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Hypervisor Enables MSI Support for all Operating Systems

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A bare metal (Type 1) hypervisor allows the execution of real-time operating systems (RTOSs) in parallel to operating systems like Linux or Microsoft Windows XP without adding any latencies to their native real-time performance. Deterministic behavior remains fully intact. Because embedded Hypervisors and real-time extensions for Linux or Windows typically require interrupts to be assigned exclusively to the different operating systems, system configuration can be very difficult and sometimes even impossible. To avoid conflicts due to shared interrupts, Version 2.2 of the RTS Hypervisor from Real-Time Systems now allows the use of message signaled interrupts (MSI) for all operating systems, even if these operating systems inherently do not provide support for MSI.  

 In Version 2.2 it is now possible with the RTS Hypervisor to automatically analyze the CPU and cache topology of processor architectures such as the Intel Atom, Core, Xeon or Nehalem and intelligently assign CPUs to individual operating systems like Windows or an RTOS. This feature ensures that operating systems running in parallel cannot negatively affect each other due to a shared cache topology. Furthermore, in order to expand support for deterministic operating systems, Version 2.2 now features an open control module that provides a high-performance virtual network interface, shared memory and other virtualization components. Customers or operating system vendors can use this control module’s straightforward paravirtualization interface to integrate their own operating system or any other real-time code into their RTS Hypervisor-based system. 

By partitioning processor cores, memory and I/O devices into individual, independent computers, the RTS Hypervisor facilitates hardware consolidation and fosters an uncompromised reduction in overall system costs. Devices or machines that currently use an embedded hardware board in parallel to a computer executing Windows XP can now safely be merged onto a single Intel multicore hardware platform, thus greatly reducing design, manufacturing and maintenance costs. With just one dual core CPU, any RTOS can now execute in parallel to and completely independent of Microsoft Windows, for example. Using the RTS Hypervisor, the number of operating systems that can execute simultaneously is limited only by the number of available CPU cores. There is no requirement that supported operating systems be identical or dissimilar. For example, using the RTS Hypervisor, it is just as easy to run four instances of the same RTOS on a Quad-Core processor as to execute four different operating systems. The RTS Hypervisor technology does not restrict the many possibilities. 

 Thanks to strict separation of individual operating systems, any OS in the system can be independently booted in a user-defined order. The RTS Hypervisor even makes it possible to reboot one operating system while the others continue to run. Using a shared memory mechanism as well as a TCP/IP virtual network, communication between operating systems is straightforward. Out of the box, the RTS Hypervisor currently supports Windows XP, Windows CE, VxWorks, QNX, Microware OS-9, On Time RTOS-32, Linux and preemptive Linux in any combination.

Real-Time Systems, Ravensburg, Germany. +49 (0) 751 359 558 – 0. [www.real-time-systems.com].