ACRN Look Ahead in 2019

2019 will be an exciting year for project ACRN. Several big things are planned:

  • By early Q2, we’ll welcome ACRN v1.0 and provide a stable software reference for Software-Defined-Cockpit (SDC) usage on Intel Apollo Lake platforms.
  • Real-Time OS will be supported, opening use of ACRN in industrial scenarios needing low latency, and fast, predictable responsiveness. Initial support is for VxWorks and Zephyr OS as Real-Time guest OSes in Q2, and PREEMPT-RT Linux in Q3.
  • A new ACRN Hybrid Mode will be completed in Q2, giving ACRN the ability to run mixed-criticality workloads. For example, running a Real-Time Guest OS with a time sensitive application and dedicated hardware resources assigned, together with a normal priority Guest OSes (UOS) running with Service OS (SOS) and sharing the remaining hardware devices.
  • Windows as Guest (WaaG) will be officially supported in Q4, but you will see incremental features merged before that. For example, we’ll soon introduce a virtual boot loader, OVMF, that enables UEFI support for Virtual Machines required for supporting WaaG.
  • Kata Containers will be supported in Q3. Kata Containers is an open source project and community working to build a standard implementation of lightweight Virtual Machines (VMs) that feel and perform like containers, but provide the workload isolation and security advantages of VMs.
  • More I/O device virtualization will be implemented to enrich ACRN’s IoT device hypervisor capability, including GPIO virtualization in Q1, I2C virtualization in Q2 and Intel GPU Gen11 support in Q4.
  • CPU sharing will be a big thing for ACRN. Typically used for embedded systems, a partitioned CPU will be assigned to a Guest VM to benefit the isolation and fast response from hardware. There’s also a requirement for non-critical usage for sharing CPU cores among multiple VMs to better support Kata container.
  • Functional Safety (FuSa) certification process will be applied to ACRN core feature development, and ultimately help ACRN be deployed in industrial or automotive (SDC) uses.

*More details can be found in “ACRN Open Source Roadmap 2019”