Open Source Hypervisor for IoT expands to the Edge

21st July 2020
Lanna Deamer

Project ACRN, an open source IoT hypervisor hosted at the Linux Foundation, has announced ACRN v2.0, which expands the scope of the project and introduces a new hybrid-mode architecture with a focus on industrial IoT and edge device use cases, delivering flexibility in resource sharing and new levels of real time and functional safety for demanding workloads in both the automotive and industrial segments.

“The ACRN project is moving fast to address the increasingly complex requirements for IoT devices, networks and environments,” said Mike Dolan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of projects at the Linux Foundation. “This speed and agility in development can only be achieved through collaboration and we’re happy to be able to support this important work.”

Eddie Dong, Senior Principal Engineer, Architect, and Maintainer of Project ACRN said: “The rapid evolution and development from version 1.0 to 2.0 in a year demonstrates the momentum of this project and the demand for a flexible, real time, safety-critical, open source hypervisor for industrial players that are architecting mission-critical technologies.”

ACRN version 2.0

ACRN 2.0 uses a hybrid-mode architecture to support real time industrial IoT workloads and edge devices and simultaneously supports both traditional resource sharing among Virtual Machines (VMs) and complete VM resource partitioning required for functional safety. Workload management and orchestration are also enabled now with ACRN, allowing open source orchestrators such as OpenStack to manage ACRN VMs. ACRN supports secure container runtimes such as Kata Containers orchestrated via Docker or Kubernetes.

ACRN 2.0 main features include:

  • ACRN architecture upgrade to support hybrid mode
  • New hardware platform support
  • Pre-launched Safety VM support
  • Post-launched VM support via OVMF
  • Post-launched Real-time VM support
  • Real-time VM performance optimizations
  • CPU sharing support
  • Large selection of OSes for user VMs
  • GRUB bootloader
  • SR-IOV support
  • Both passthrough and shared Graphics support
  • Shared memory based inter-VM communication
  • Configuration tools support
  • Kata Containers Support
  • VM orchestration
  • Improved Documentation

Rina Raman, Vice President and General Manager of the Embedded Acceleration Division at Intel Corporation said: “The fourth industrial revolution, characterised by a fusion of disruptive technologies, requires agility and the ability to consolidate heterogeneous workloads, some of which carry very strict requirements of Functional Safety certification or Real-Time behaviour. With its 2.0 release, Project ACRN is now offering an open source hypervisor that makes such workload consolidation possible.”

Thomas Berndorfer, CTO, TTTech Industrial said: “ACRN 2.0 prioritises the three key requirements for hypervisors today in the Industrial IoT and edge environments: functional safety, real time, and flexibility for resource sharing among virtual machines. This set of features is uniquely found in ACRN. Contributing actively to the project allows us to shape the future of this critical and rapidly developing technology. ACRN delivers a flexible, real time, open source hypervisor for industries that have the world’s most demanding mission-critical requirements.”

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