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Commercial implementation for ACRN open-source hypervisor

Technology News |
By Ally Winning

TTTech Industrial has launched the first commercial implementation of the ACRN open source hypervisor.

The hypervisor was developed by the Linux Foundation with a wide range of industry support from companies such as ADLINK, Aptiv, Intel Corporation, LGE and Neusoft Corporation. ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor built with real-time processing and safety critical operation. This is used in TTTech’s Nerve Blue edge platform that runs on a variety of Intel processors in an array of industrial applications such as PLCs.

When developing ACRN 2.0, the community prioritized three key requirements for hypervisors in the Industrial IoT and edge environments: functional safety, real-time processing and resource sharing for additional flexibility. TTTech has worked closely with Intel to shape the hypervisor technology and rapidly integrate it into the Nerve Blue edge computing platform.

Nerve Blue’s integration of ACRN 2.0 allows it to run PLC software for controlling high-speed machine functions alongside other less time-sensitive software applications on the same hardware platform. This creates special virtual environments that support cycle times down to 500μs for low-latency applications. For example, an injection molding machine containing a standard industrial PC can now be fitted with Nerve Blue software to run its injection pressure control, Human-Machine Interface (HMI), gateway, data analytics, and predictive maintenance functions all on the same device – delivering considerable hardware savings and aiding more efficient machine operation.

“The ACRN community is accelerating embedded development for the integration of heterogenous, real-time applications in edge environments. This milestone really represents what the technical features that set ACRN apart,” said Mike Dolan, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Projects, Linux Foundation. “As the project and integrations mature, we expect even more contributions and innovations to result from this open source collaboration.”

“Nerve Blue already provides users a highly virtualized environment for running machine software on standard industrial PCs. Now with the integration of ACRN 2.0 we have been able to extend our platform to safely and securely host software for controlling the most critical elements within a machine,” said Thomas Berndorfer, Member of the Executive Board at TTTech Industrial. “Nerve Blue together with ACRN 2.0 will make a real impact for our customers as they seek to improve machine efficiency and reduce costs.”

Nerve Blue is available today on Intel Atom processor E3900 series, Intel Celeron processor N3350, and Intel Pentium processor N4200 (Apollo Lake) platforms, 8th Generation Intel Core U-Series (Whiskey Lake) processors. Early next year, Nerve Blue will be available for Intel Atom x6000E Series and Intel Pentium and Celeron N and J Series Processors for Internet of Things (IoT) Applications (Elkhart Lake).

A free trial-version of Nerve Blue is available for 30 days to assess the remote software management and virtualized application hosting without any need to download special software or set up hardware.

projectacrn.org; www.tttech-industrial.com/try-nerve-blue

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