congatec integrates Hypervisor on its x86 COMs

30th January 2024
Harry Fowle

congatec is now including the Hypervisor in all of its new x86 Computers-on-Modules (COMs).

The Hypervisor is available as an easy addition to congatec’s x86-based COMs. Now the Hypervisor will be implemented in firmware and will be standard on all congatec x86 COMs, automatically lowering the barrier to start working on system consolidation. By simplifying real-time virtualisation for system consolidation, congatec is making it easy to save costs; reduce system count; and reduce size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP).

“Consolidation will become significantly easier with the hypervisor directly included. The ability to simultaneously run multiple operating systems, including real-time operating systems, and have them all run at maximum efficiency, will be a major differentiator for our customers,” said Andreas Bergbauer, Manager Solution Management at congatec. “Our modules will be more application-ready than any competing solution, OEMs will be able to reduce their NRE, and they will get to market faster. It has never been easier to leverage the benefits of system consolidation as with our Hypervisor-on-Module.”

By optimising the allocation of OSs (and applications) across multiple cores, more functionalities can be offered reducing system count to one. Moreover, the system resources of multicore designs can be fully used increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption. This in turn allows OEMs to build more functionality and efficiently in a single consolidated system. Costs are saved by reducing the amount of required hardware, and cabling, and by minimising system size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP). This enables OEMs to even consolidate real-time and non-real-time critical applications in parallel on a single x86 Computer-on-Module.

The Hypervisor enables developers to run multiple operating systems (OS) simultaneously on one single COM. Every OS is assigned to run on its own core or set of cores and I/Os (such as PCIe, Ethernet, USB), so that each OS can run entirely independently from each other. Booting or suspending the operation of any OS will have no effect on any other. With the Hypervisor, customers get a software and hardware package already qualified to support real-time applications, as the real-time behaviour of the modules has already been verified.

As an optional add-on, the Hypervisor also supports nested virtualisation with container and virtual machine (VM) support. Nested virtualisation is a technique where a VM runs on top of another hypervisor, rather than on physical hardware, affording full virtualisation freedom. Individual workloads can be decoupled from each other to increase reliability, for example, or containers (or other virtualisation solutions) could be run within a VM.

When functions are separated among virtual machines, the collaboration between these virtual machines remains highly flexible.

Operating systems supported by Hypervisor out of the box:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 and 11
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • VxWorks
  • Xenomai
  • TenAsys Intime distributed RTOS
  • QNX Neutrino
  • Real-Time Linux

Support for other operating systems can be added anytime upon request. Different operating systems may run in different execution modes at the same time and any mix of SMP and single-CPU, 32-bit and 64-bit is possible.

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