Barrelfish OS, a Microsoft Research non-Windows prototype operating system has been tweaked to run on the Intel Single-Chip Cloud Computer (SCC).
"Barrelfish OS is available for download to researchers for testing purposes only. This is not a full-featured operating system, nor even close to a platform that could run into production, so end users better leave it alone."
diTii readers who wants an early experience with the Barrelfish OS and the Single-Chip Cloud Computer can download a whitepaper (linked below) or can read online using the embed under this post.
"In this paper a comparison of the Traditional OS Architectures is made with respect to the needs of an efficient multikernel based operating system. The researchers discuss how they used a Rocky Lake Board, (from Oracle) to test the system. The findings are discussed in detail, and since this paper can be viewed for no cost by my readers," said Sam Stokes.
"Traditional OS architectures based on a single, shared-memory kernel face significant challenges from hardware trends, in particular the increasing cost of system-wide cachecoherence as core counts increase, and the emergence of heterogeneous architectures - both on a single die, and also between CPUs, co-processors like GPUs, and programmable peripherals within a platform," reads an excerpt of the whitepaper.
"The multikernel is an alternative OS model that employs message passing instead of data sharing and enables architecture agnostic inter-core communication, including across non-coherent shared memory and PCIe peripheral buses. This allows a single OS instance to manage the complete collection of heterogeneous, non-cache-coherent processors as a single, unified platform."
The researchers that authored the whitepaper not only managed to get Barrelfish OS running on the SCC, but also on an SCC + host PC heterogeneous machine.
"We've demonstrated that it is possible to run a single image OS across a heterogeneous, non-cache-coherent machine consisting of an SCC and its host PC with reasonable performance (the remaining issues with our PCIe interconnect driver notwithstanding)," reads a fragment of the research whitepaper's conclusion.
Seriously, if you have P.O.S. x86 laying about, you can load up the BarrelFish O/S and get started doing research. So just do it!
Download the whitepaper here.
[Source: Sam Stokes]