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Hypervisors in Embedded Systems

Mike Glass, I attended Embedded World in Nurnberg last week. The number one application I saw over and over again was embedded devices based on multi-core processors. If you think of Microsoft’s entire range of embedded operating systems – Micro-framework at the low end, Windows CE (the only real-time OS (RTOS)), and Windows XP; I expect multi-core processors to target systems built for Windows XP Embedded (XPe) first. This is because the cost of a multi-core processor is higher than a single-core and at least for now more likely in systems that can absorb the roughly $55 cost of an XPe client. But the interesting twist is that the value of multiple cores is that you can run an RTOS in one or more cores and run XPe in other cores. XPe would be used to run Windows applications – say some kind of Human Machine interface (HMI), where the RTOS would run a factory control application that requires a guarantee of a processor’s time slice at some frequency that only Windows CE could deliver (or RTOS competitors like WindRiver’s VxWorks or a custom Linux solution).

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Hypervisor, Embedded Systems, Windows CE, Windows XP Embedded, Microsoft

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