Arm introduced the Arm SystemReady foundational certification program last October developed in partnership with a broad ecosystem. SystemReady provides a formal set of compute platform definitions to cover the range of systems we see from the cloud to the IoT edge. This helps software 'just work' seamlessly across a vibrant, diverse ecosystem of Arm-based hardware.
Choosing standards is a balancing act to find the right fit for the ecosystem. Standards bring predictability needed by software to support Arm platforms, but if too much is standardized then partners do not have the flexibility they need to bring differentiated products to the market. Too little standardization results in a high software maintenance cost associated with supporting many products. We strive to find a sweet spot where standards enable interoperable innovation
Underpinning the Arm SystemReady program is a set of system architecture standards: Base System Architecture (BSA) which provides a minimum set of hardware requirements for an operating system to boot successfully, and the corresponding minimum set of firmware interface requirements called the Base Boot Requirements (BBR).
We also provide a market segment-specific BSA supplement, for example, the SBSA supplement for the server sector. Choosing different combinations of these specifications enables different bands of the SystemReady program, applicable to different system types and market segments. We also introduce the Base Boot Security Requirements (BBSR) specification which provides the requirements for secure boot and secure firmware update.
SystemReady is designed to ensure portability and interoperability of operating systems and hypervisors, enabling the Arm ecosystem to provide a vibrant, innovative, and diverse range of hardware platforms without prohibitively complicating software deployment. It is extending Arm’s valued CPU architecture promise of compatibility to the system architecture level.
Microsoft has been a strong enabler of the standards-based approach to the Arm system architecture since its inception over a decade ago. Microsoft is a key contributor to the definition of the original Server BSA (SBSA) and Server BBR (SBBR) specifications. It further supports this initiative by hosting and contributing to many of the related events at the Microsoft campus and in other parts of the US and Asia Pacific areas.
Microsoft continues to strongly support the Arm SystemReady program. Being SystemReady SR (formerly ServerReady) compliant is regarded as the first step towards enabling Windows Azure deployment. For purposes of development and certification in the IoT space, Windows IoT Enterprise is one of the premier OSes that can boot on SystemReady ES or SR-compliant platforms. Being SystemReady ES or SR compliant is the first step towards enabling Windows IoT Enterprise on a platform. In addition, Microsoft kindly made WinPE publicly available, and it can be used for SystemReady certification. WinPE has helped significantly in identifying standard compliant issues especially in the areas of PCIe and ACPI.
Recently, Arm was excited to present Microsoft with the SystemReady trophy in recognition of the support that Microsoft has given to the SystemReady program, since its inception. We thank Microsoft for its steadfast support, its contributions, and continued collaboration. You can watch the presentation here.
Leendert van Doorn, distinguished engineer at Microsoft, commented, “The Microsoft team has regarded SystemReady as a critical first step to enable the Windows ecosystem on Arm, including IoT, Microsoft Azure and others. This initiative has the potential of supporting additional Microsoft programs in the future. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the SystemReady Program and team.”
Arm SystemReady uses right-sized standardization to enable a diverse range of hardware where software will ‘just work’. The program is important to a range of companies who now need to think from early on about designing their hardware to meet the SystemReady standards. This is to enable interoperability with key standard OSes such as those provided by Microsoft.
We have a range of companies recently achieving SystemReady certification and will be showcasing these in future. If you would like to join this program, please contact us.
Great News for IOT technology ..