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ACRN Hypervisor Release Version 2.5

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ACRN v2.5 introduces a new technology preview for nested virtualization (running a VM inside a guest VM), using an EFI stub as an alternative for end-to-end secure boot, scalability improvements through modularization, and continued improvements to the configuration and build process.

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ACRN Virtual Meet-Up Europe 2021

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The ACRN team is hosting a free two-day virtual Meet-Up, brought to you by Intel. Please join us 25-26 May, to learn more about ACRN, how far it has come over the last three years, and where it is headed. The Meet-Up is intended for developers with a technical profile and interest in hypervisor solutions, but no prior knowledge of ACRN is required.

Date: Tuesday, 25th of May, 2021
Time: 9AM to 1PM (Central European Time)

9:10AMACRN Introduction and Architecture
9:50 AMReal-Time Management and Performance Optimization
10:30 AMFunctional Safety Design and Certification Plan
11:10 AMBreak
11:30 AMInstallation and Configuration Introduction
12:10 PMEnabling ACRN on New Hardware Platforms
12:50 PMConclusions
1:00 PM End

Date: Wednesday, 26th of May, 2021
Time: 9AM to 1PM (Central European Time)

9:00AM Welcome
9:10 AMOrchestration with Libvirt and Kata Container
9:50 AMBoot Process and Secure Boot
10:30 AMCommunity & Development Model
11:10 AM Break
11:30 AMDebugging ACRN (Tracing & Logging)
12:10 PMInter-VM Communication Introduction
12:50 PMConclusions
1:00 PMEnd

Here’s the link to register and get an invitation to attend. We hope to see you there!

ACRN Hypervisor Release Version 2.4

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We are pleased to announce the release of ACRN™ hypervisor version 2.4.

What’s New in v2.4

Extensive work was done to redesign how ACRN configuration is handled, update the build process to use the new configuration system, and update the corresponding documentation. This is a significant change and improvement to how you configure ACRN but also impacts existing projects, as explained in the next section.

We’ve also validated the hybrid_rt scenario on the next generation of Intel® Core™ processors (codenamed Elkhart Lake) and enabled software SRAM and cache locking for real-time performance on Elkhart Lake.

See the v2.4 full release notes and documentation for more information about this release including fixed and known issues.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Project ACRN™!

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It’s hard to believe the Project ACRN Hypervisor was announced at the US Embedded Linux Conference three years ago, March 15, 2018. Here’s a summary of key milestones over these last three years, including the most recent merging of ACRN patch sets into the Linux 5.12 kernel. Congratulations to the ACRN community, and Happy Birthday!

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ROScube-I, powered by Intel technology, now supports ACRN™ real-time hypervisor for flexible, reliable, and scalable development of AI-based robotic applications

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On January 6th, ADLINK announced that their ROScube-I ROS 2 controller, powered by Intel technology, is one of the first robotic controllers to support ACRN™ real-time hypervisor. The ACRN community congratulates the ADLINK team on this important milestone that allows mixed real-time and application workload consolidation on a single Edge platform.

ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor that optimizes and streamlines embedded development through an open-source platform. Built with real-time safety in mind, ACRN defines a device hypervisor reference stack and an architecture for running multiple software subsystems (as shown below), managed securely on a consolidated system using a virtual machine manager (VMM). ACRN hypervisor takes advantage of Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) and supports User VM and Service VM to run a User OS and Service OS, real-time VM (RTVM), and is designed to run a real-time OS, such as Xenomai. Because of its real-time capability, RTVM can be used for soft programmable logic controller (PLC), inter-process communication (IPC), and robotics applications.

Read more about getting started with ACRN on the ADLINK ROScube-I in the ACRN documentation:

“ADLINK’s adoption of ACRN is a great testimonial to the maturity of the project, as an open-source real-time hypervisor for the most demanding applications,” said Eddie Dong, Project ACRN’s architect and maintainer. “The collaboration between ADLINK and Project ACRN has been a true win-win situation; using ACRN hypervisor to consolidate heterogeneous workloads brings added value and unleashes the computing power of the ROSCube-I platform. It puts ACRN at the heart of a commercial solution for industrial customers.”

“Virtualization is especially important in industrial environments because of device and application longevity. Virtualization enables factories to modernize their robot control system hardware by using VMs to run older control systems and operating systems far beyond their intended retirement dates,” said Dr. Ryan Chen, Director of the Advanced Robotic Platform Group at ADLINK. “Our customers can leverage this technology on our ROScube-I controller, for example, to run human-machine interfaces (HMI) in User OS, run artificial intelligence (AI) in Service OS and leave some compute function running on soft programmable logic controllers (PLC) that require hard real-time characteristics. This gives customers the ultimate in future-proof flexibility and reliability, allowing them to scale up development.”

“Robotic controllers based on Intel hardware and software platforms enable flexible, reliable and scalable solutions for some of the most advanced robotics applications. Real-time hypervisors, Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit and Intel architecture make it easy to integrate data, devices, and processes while improving operational efficiency. Intel and ADLINK are both active contributors to the ROS 2 community and it is great to see this work in action,” said Brian McCarson, Vice President, Internet of Things Group at Intel Corporation.

Check out the ADLINK full press release for more details: