iWave Systems, a leading embedded solutions provider company based in Bangalore has successfully demonstrated Xen virtualization hypervisor on their i.MX8 QM SoC-based System on Module. The multi-core SOM comprises of 2x Arm® Cortex®-A72 @1.8 GHz and 4x Arm® Cortex®-A53 @1.2 GHz and 2x additional Cortex®-M4F @ 266 MHz, rendering a highly powerful integrated solution on a SMARC R2.0 compatible module.
To fully explore the enormous computing capability of the i.MX8 QM SOM, iWave has implemented virtualization of hardware using the open-source type 1 Xen hypervisor. The Xen hypervisor enables multiple virtual machines to be created over a single hardware resource, each virtual machine capable of running its own independent operating system. This enables the i.MX8 QM SOM runs multiple operating systems concurrently on the same physical board. The Xen hypervisor allows maximum utilization of resources thereby improving overall system performance and efficiency.
About Xen hypervisor
Xen is an open-source type-1 hypervisor developed by the University of Cambridge and is now being developed by the Linux Foundation. Xen runs directly on the hardware to manage guest operating systems. Hence, it’s also considered a bare-metal hypervisor. Xen has less overhead enabling faster performance and Operating Systems are more secure as they don’t rely on base OS for installing the hypervisor.
A system running the Xen hypervisor contains three components:
During the initial system start-up, Xen hypervisor launches the Dom0 that runs the Linux operating system. The Dom0 has unique privileges to access the Xen hypervisor compared to other Domains. Dom0 manages the DomU, the unprivileged domains running on the system. Dom0 allocates and map hardware resources for the DomU domains.
Xen demo on iWave’s i.MX8QM SOM
In iWave’s Xen Demo on i.MX8QM Board, the DOM-0 OS runs Linux 4.9.88 from eMMC and DOM-U runs Android Oreo 8.1 from USB drives. Such a system can be used where there is a need for both faster, highly reliable OS (such as Linux) and more multi-featured slightly slower OS (such as Android) to be running on the same hardware.
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