Software

Linux Foundation unveils open source hypervisor for IoT products

The reference project ACRN is made for resource-constrained devices and focuses on safety.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The Linux Foundation has released an open source reference hypervisor project for IoT called ACRN, which includes both a hypervisor and a reference model.
  • With its focus on safety, ACRN could help enterprise users more easily build secure, business-ready IoT devices.

The Linux Foundation recently unveiled ACRN (pronounced "acorn"), a new open source embedded reference hypervisor project that aims to make it easier for enterprise leaders to build an Internet of Things (IoT)-specific hypervisor.

The project, further detailed in a press release, could help fast track enterprise IoT projects by giving developers a readily-available option for such an embedded hypervisor. It will also provide a reference framework for building a hypervisor that prioritizes real-time data and workload security in IoT projects, the release said.

ACRN is made up of the hypervisor and its device model, the release noted. This is complete with I/O mediators. Firms like Intel, LG Electronics, Aptiv, and more have already contributed to the project.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

"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," Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, said in the release. "We're pleased to welcome project ACRN and invite embedded developers to get involved in the new community."

The footprint of ACRN is small and real-time, the release noted. It's also flexible in that it can accommodate multiple workload types. That includes safety-critical workloads as well.

However, the project won't focus on one criticality over another and can handle multiple IoT workloads of mixed-criticality on a single platform, the release said. This can help lower both the development and deployment costs, and simplify system architecture in the process. One example, noted in the release, would be electronic control unit (ECU) consolidation in automotive applications, which LG Electronics is working on.

"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," Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center at Intel, said in the release. "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."

Also see

acrn.jpg
Image: iStockphoto/chombosan/Linux Foundation

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox