ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor with significant code contributions from Intel® Corporation
PORTLAND, Ore. (Embedded Linux Conference), March 13, 2018 – The Linux Foundation today announced a new embedded reference hypervisor project 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 optimized to streamline embedded development. This project will provide a framework for industry leaders to build an open source embedded hypervisor specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT).
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 virtualization technology was key to the initial development of this hypervisor solution.
“With project ACRN, embedded developers have a new, immediately available hypervisor option,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “ACRN’s optimization 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.”
Developers benefit from ACRN’s small, real-time footprint, which is flexible enough to accommodate different uses and provides 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. An example of this is the electronic control unit (ECU) consolidation in automotive applications. While open source hypervisor options are available today, none share ACRN’s vision of an open source hypervisor solution optimized for embedded and IoT products.
“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,” said Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center, at Intel® Corporation. “This new project delivers a flexible, lightweight hypervisor, designed to take real-time and safety-critical concerns into consideration and drive meaningful innovation for the IoT space.”
ACRN will incorporate input from the open source, embedded and IoT developer communities and encourages collaboration and code contributions to the project. Early ACRN project members include ADLINK®, Aptiv®, Intel® Corporation, LGE® and Neusoft® Corporation. To learn more about the project, visit https://www.projectacrn.org.
“The lack of open source virtualization solutions for embedded, real-time, and safety-critical systems has been greatly hindering consolidation and to some extent the most interesting forms of fog computing,” commented Angelo Corsaro, chief technology officer of ADLINK Technology Inc. “The release of ACRN as a Linux Foundation project by Intel will be a game changer as it brings the agility and manageability of virtualized environments into embedded and real-time systems. This will be a key enabler toward making the Industrial Internet of Things happen for real.”
“This approach from Intel fits very well within our product roadmap and is a welcomed approach that will meet our customers’ desire to have more open source reference solutions,” said Lee Bauer, vice president, Mobility Architecture Group of Aptiv. “Aptiv is excited to be a part of this new project, ACRN, and with it usher in a new era of flexibility and scalability for our mobility IoT product solutions.”
“Because ACRN will allow for faster feasibility checking of ECU consolidation, it will benefit our growing vehicle components business,” said Seongpyo Hong, vice president of LG Electronics. “As a result, we will be able to respond more quickly to OEMs’ customized requirements and will continue to play a key role in contributing to the ACRN project.”
“As Intel’s strategic partner, Neusoft is pleased to join Intel in project ACRN,” said Meng Lingjun, vice president of Neusoft Corporation and the general manager of Neusoft Automotive. “ACRN has landed in China’s automotive electronics industry with practical implementation. I believe ACRN can meet the development requirements of IoT technology. We’re pleased to work with open source communities and introduce ACRN into the ecosystem.”
About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.
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