As the adoption of the next generation ARM processors starts a pace, devices utilizing the ARM Cortex®-A15 and Cortex-A7 find for the first time, hardware extensions to accelerate the virtualization of the platform and so enable support of multiple isolated operating systems running at the same time.
The ARM virtualization extensions were introduced in to the ARM processor roadmap in response to a growing need in the industry to support devices that must execute more than one instance of an operating system environment or RTOS in a secure, high performance and low power manner. The best known scenario, known to many corporate users of a smartphone – dual persona – or simply, the ability to keep the corporate configuration of a mobile device separate from personal use; this is all the more important as BYOD (bring your own device) is becoming widespread. Likewise, personal computing on a laptop that can access Android and its rich application store while also is having the more content creative side of a full desktop environment.
It is this second scenario that will be demonstrated at the ARM TechCon later this month running on the ARM based Samsung Chromebook.
Using the standard Linux Kernel based Virtual Machine manager (KVM) support for the ARM architecture, this next generation of open source virtualization technology transforms Linux kernel into a fully hardware accelerated hypervisor. By taking advantage of hardware virtualization support provided by these recent ARM Cortex processors, KVM-on-ARM is the unique low power, low cost, high performance, full SoC virtualization solution available today.
Since virtualization is the key technology to enable full performance BYOD Android smartphones, tablets and portable PC, Virtual Open Systems and ARM have worked together and will show a fully functional demo of the BYOD phenomena using the commercially available Chromebook. The demonstration will show how the full Linux desktop, plus a full Android environment can be made available providing both a secure hardware isolated corporate environment and personal environment together on the same hardware.