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Project ACRN Documentation Update

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We are very pleased to announce we’ve updated the Project ACRN documentation, organized around your interest with ACRN as an end user, developer, and contributor. 

As shown above, ACRN documentation is now arranged into categories that are more approachable: “Learn about ACRN”, “Try using ACRN”, “Develop using ACRN”, “Contribute to ACRN” and “Developer Reference” documentation. 

This new organization should make it easier for you to find information appropriate for your interests and involvement with the project.  We’ve also begun incorporating additional material documenting example Automotive and Industrial use case scenarios that provide more in depth information and starting points for configuring the ACRN hypervisor for specific application needs.

Keep an eye on our documentation website: https://projectacrn.github.io as we continue to make it better for you and the ACRN community.

Project ACRN at Open Source Summit + Automotive Linux Summit Japan 2019

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Big changes are coming to the world of hypervisors. The open source Project ACRN is a device hypervisor targeting Edge and IoT devices. ACRN supports multiple Operating Systems (OSes) with diverse software stacks and a variety of workloads to run on the same platform enabling significant workload consolidation. Its small footprint means that it can be used in resource constrained environments. As Functional Safety (FuSa) hypervisors are being increasingly relied on to handle multiple workloads with speed and security, we are excited that ACRN is leading the way in becoming FuSA certified.

Because it is truly open source, optimized for real-time and built with safety criticality for IoT, ACRN is perfect for a variety of automotive, industrial and other safety critical projects. For instance, it is being used with Android to power cars of the future using open source technology to develop new automotive In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) experiences as detailed in this case study: ACRN Helps Neusoft Automotive Develop Smart Cockpit Systems by Leveraging the Advantages of Open Source Technology. This is great news for Open Source developers, according to James Wu, director of Intel open source IOT hypervisors.

Workload consolidation has become a significant tool in deploying efficient, safety-oriented applications in various industries, especially automotive. That means instead of running on multiple processors, now you can use a single System on Chip (SoC) for IVI, Cluster and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) information.

Based on ACRN, Intel is offering a path to a FuSA-capable open source fusion stack with Clear Linux, Zephyr and Celadon. Celadon is open source Android software stack on Intel architecture. It provides a turnkey solution that is flexible, verified compatible and it’s updated regularly. Celadon can stimulate compelling Android solutions for use in automotive and IOT projects.

ACRN was recently featured at the 2019 Open Source Summit held at Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo, Japan on July 17-19, 2019. Open Source Summit, Japan, is the leading conference in which technologists and open source industry leaders can collaborate, share information, learn about the latest in open source technologies and find out how to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions. Approximately 1,000 developers, operators and open source industry leaders attended the event to share, connect and learn about topics in the field. The event also featured the Automotive Linux Summit. This summit gathered many of the most innovative minds in automotive excellence and open-source expertise. This included automotive system engineers, Linux experts, R&D managers, business executives, open-source licensing and compliance specialists and community developers. The event also connected the developer community along with vendors and users providing and using the code in order to drive the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.

Project ACRN was featured at this conference as an important open source project for automotive consolidation solution, including 2 demos and 4 technical sessions. The ACRN demo station also featured a demonstration of Celadon for automotive working with ACRN.

Demo 1 – Workload Consolidation using Celadon and ACRN

This demo showcased Project ACRN as a device hypervisor that enabling multiple simultaneous OSes, the essential capability required for workload consolidation. ACRN just released an automotive case study showing a device hypervisor for workload consolidation. For example, instead of running multiple processors, each with a different application environment, ACRN allows IVI, Cluster and ADAS information applications to be run on a single platform. The automotive IVI Celadon demo showed Controller Area Network (CAN) emulators with interactive controls and a dashboard, and Celadon running as the Guest OS on top of Project ACRN. This conference was the first to showcase the integration of Celadon as the Guest OS running on top of Project ACRN.  Please see the photos of the demo below.


Figure 1 ACRN supports 2 or more Celadon as Guest OSes including networking and other I/O sharing capabilities
Figure 2 ACRN running on Intel® Core™ i7-7567U with Clear Linux as the Service OS supporting Digital Automobile Virtual Dashboard, and Celadon as the Guest OS for Traditional entertainment system as well as Navigation, Multimedia, Air Conditioning Control

ACRN supported hardware can be found on the ACRN github.


Figure 3 CELADON for traditional IVI – Native Android

To rerun this demo showing Celadon running on the ACRN hypervisor, please see the ACRN github tutorial Using Celadon as UOSAlso see the Celadon website for more information.

In this demo, attendees saw the rich I/O virtualization and Graphic sharing capability available with the ACRN hypervisor without degrading the 60 fps rendering regardless of what type of workload applications were running on the Guest OS.

Demo 2 – Consolidating Real-Time Workloads in Open-Source           

In this demo, the ACRN hypervisor runs 2 virtual machines: a real-time VM (Zephyr RTOS) and a standard VM (Clear Linux). Artificial Intelligence (Tensor Flow) is used to provide object detection on a video stream. Zephyr runs on the same HW platform but in a privileged mode to ensure its real-time characteristics are preserved. A real-time benchmark is running inside Zephyr to demonstrate the real-time behavior of the system. A cloud device offers a user-friendly dashboard to see what is happening on the edge device, including visualizing the real-time benchmark (cyclic test) data.


Figure 4 Demo high level design

This demo is especially interesting because it shows a real-time VM running on the alongside a resource intensive Artificial Intelligence application using a standard VM.  

For more information about real-time design with ACRN, please see the ACRN github workload design guidelines.

There were also 4 ACRN technical sessions:

Session 1 – Workload consolidation with ACRN hypervisor

This technical session was presented by James Wu, engineering director for the Intel IOT open source hypervisor from Intel, Shanghai.


Figure 5 James Wu highlights ACRN

In this session, James talked about a Based Reference Stack for Workload Consolidation, updated information about the version 1.0 release, the roadmap for the version 2.0  release, Open Source Android Stack running as the Guest OS on top of ACRN hypervisor to familiarize automotive OEMs with the ACRN features, roadmaps and approaches to the automotive segment.

Featured:

Figure 6 Open Source Fusion stack for workload consolidation
Figure 7 Automotive usage with ACRN hypervisor as currently supported

To obtain the presentation slides, please monitor Linux Foundation which will post all technical sessions as they become available.

Session 2 – Secure container in IoT segment, Extend KATA to ACRN IoT hypervisor

This session was presented by Yu Wang, ACRN engineering manager, from Intel Beijing.

Figure 8 Yu Wang presents the ACRN for Kata containers integration for IoT usage

This presentation was motivated by the fact that connected devices are increasingly expected to support a wide range of hardware resources, operating systems, and software tools/applications, making workload consolidation, resource isolation and safety the current hot topic. Container technology can be part of the solution. Kata Containers is a security enhanced container by leveraging Virtual Machine (VM) technology. Kata feels and performs like other containers, but provides the additional workload isolation and security advantages of VMs. Originally, Kata was designed for data center usage so it is still closing gaps for specific IoT segment requirements, For example: real-time, functional safety and embedded I/O mediator requirements. But it promises to be a valuable addition to the workload consolidation tool set.

Session 3 – ACRN/KATA: Secure Container Solution for Software-defined Cockpit 

This presentation was by Jason Chen, Senior architect for ACRN hypervisor, from Intel Shanghai


Figure 9 Jason Chen addresses challenges for Vehicle Development and integration between ACRN and Kata

In this session, Jason Chen talked about how the widespread use of intelligence and networking in automobiles means that vehicles are no longer the traditional “sofa on wheels”. Automobiles have evolved into a significant IoT platform resulting in more and more Internet applications. At the same time, as the internet has been integrated into automobiles, addition functional safety requirements have become necessary for the safety of drivers and passengers. Information security has become increasingly serious in the automotive field, necessitating additional safety certifications and standards. To satisfy the need for additional internal requirements for safety and security, it has been necessary to accelerate the iteration rate for hardware/software system upgrades. The new challenge for automobile manufacturers is how to achieve this update rate. Container technology should be a significant part of the answer. Kata containers contributes to this by addressing enhanced security by combining container and Virtual Machines (VMs) technology in a way that still feels and performs like traditional containers.

Session 4 – Consolidation of Real-time and HMI with ACRN hypervisor

This session was presented by Jason, Senior architect of ACRN hypervisor.

He talked about the Value Proposition of ACRN hypervisor for Industrial workloads consolidation and usage of industry.

Featured:


Figure 10 Value proposition of virtualization for industrial workloads consolidation

Figure 11 Usage and architecture design for controller, real-time function and HMI consolidation with ACRN hypervisor

Again, to obtain the presentation slides, please monitor Linux Foundation which will post all technical sessions as they become available.

This is second time that the ACRN hypervisor solution has been showcased at a conference in Japan. The first time was at ALS Japan 2018 which showed AGL running as guest the OS on top of ACRN hypervisor with GPU sharing. This presentation generated significant interest with companies looking for collaboration opportunities. Some of them have started demonstrating their solution based on ACRN hypervisor, Toyota is an example.

ACRN Contributes to the Success of the 1st Open Source IoT Projects Community Event

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The 1st Open Source IoT Projects Seminar was held on June 11-12 in Shanghai hosted at the Intel Zizhu Office. This is a new event and the first time that we have run a community meeting focused on promoting open source projects in the IoT arena. Themed ‘Open Source Drives IoT, From Device to Edge’, and sponsored in collaboration with the ACRN, AliOS, Celadon, Clear Linux, ROS 2, StarlingX and Zephyr projects, the seminar covered a wide spectrum of IoT innovation technologies, including virtualization, real-time, security and safely, in applications such as industrial real-time workload consolidation, IVI, automotive, drones, robotic, retail.

During the 2-day event, we delivered 30 technical presentations, 13 demos and 4 hands-on workshops, gathered 161 community developers, software engineers, technical managers from our key partners and customers, as well as sales/marketing/technical staff. About 50% were from companies such as Neusoft, Baidu, China Mobile, Harman, SH Auto, ShenYang Machine Tools, Bluetooth SIG, Tencent Cloud, Microsoft, Archermind, HopeRun, National Intelligent Sensor Innovation Center, Beijing Yuanxin Technology, OFILM, TOP CHIP, Shen Zhen DJI Technology, etc. from 7+ different cities. About 50% were from the host Intel’s BUs, including those from SMG, IoTG, plus 20 who joined online.

However, it was not just a forum for the projects to share the latest announcements, future road maps, new features, solutions developed to their audiences. It was also a great opportunity for various communities to meet each other and share – discuss technical opens, provide feedback and suggestions interactively, and inspire new business opportunities.

Day 1 Keynotes

Keynotes Day 1

The opening Keynote, given by Fleming Feng, talked about how open source accelerates IoT innovation, with a highlight on Intel’s open source leadership.

IoTG TSD Director Paul Zhang gave a briefing of IoTG China focus segments and emphasized why open source is the foundation of Intel IoT stack.

Mr. Liu Dejun from Neusoft Auto introduced their e-cockpit C4-Alfus Pro system developed on ACRN and Intel platform as a good customer testimonial.

James Wu, Fleming Feng, Harold Yang, Cindy Xie, Jocelyn Li then gave a high-level intro on latest of the projects – ACRN, Celadon, ROS, StarlingX, Zephyr.

Track / Sessions Day 1
Track / Sessions Day 2

ACRN Track Highlights
● This is 2nd Meetup for ACRN project in the last year. More than 40 of the attendees were community developers or partners.
● For the first time, we had external speakers delivered 5 of 11 talks. For example, Neusoft’s production-ready Software Defined Cockpit (SDC) system based on ACRN, HopeRun’s add-on features for ACRN, etc.
● Seeing is believing”. Neusoft (OSV) brought their “Neusoft C4 platform” SDC demo to the seminar. A local OEM car model based on C4 system will be rolled up in Q3’19. This exciting news created a lot of buzz in the conference.
● There were 5 ACRN demos from the community and from Intel.

Zephyr Track Highlights
● This is the 1st meet-up for the Zephyr project in China. 20+ people participated the Zephyr sessions, 50% were from 7 different cities in China (Shanghai, Beijing, ShenZhen, SuZhou, Chendu, Nanjing and Wuhan)
● Kai Ren from Bluetooth SIG delivered a presentation about the Bluetooth Mesh and Zephyr and how Zephyr supported this in the early stages.
● Input on Zephyr
   – Strength: cross-platform support, Bluetooth support, Functional Safety focus
   – Expected features: ARM-Cortex A support
● One start-up company in ShenZhen has built a Swift development kit based on Zephyr
● Identified external customers and interest in Zephyr from organizations including China Mobile, SZ DJI Tech, Neusoft, National Intelligent Sensor Innovation Center, Beijing Yuanxin Technology, OFILM, TOP CHIP and a Start-up.

Celadon/Clear Linux/ROS 2/StarlingX Track Highlights
● This is 1st Meetup for this project focused on IoT.
● Covered topics including ‘Getting Started with Celadon’, ‘How Celadon Powering the Smart Terminal for Face Recognition’, ‘Serverless Edge Computing on Clear Linux’, ‘Enable Intelligent Visual Grasping for Industrial Robot in ROS2’, ‘Enhance Security Solution to Protect ROS/ Robotics Software’, ‘StarlingX and IoT Use Cases’, ‘StarlingX and Industrial Edge Stack’

Demos

In addition to technical sessions/demo shows, we had some fun activities and discovered many talents among our colleagues – they’re not just technical experts, but artists ! 🙂

The ‘Virtualization Chorus v0.6’ (Engineers from SSP Virtualization team) gave us a wonderful choir performance – ‘I love you China!’ during tea-break; our Super PM Hongbo Wang brought-in ZiZhu pop singer group (including himself) to sing & play at Welcome Dinner; The teams/event attendees also enjoyed group photo, game time and lucky-draw moments.

Special Thanks: (names listed in random order)

Speakers: Fleming Feng, Paul Zhang (IoTG), Liu Dejun (Neusoft), James Wu, Harold Yang, Cindy Xie, Jocelyn Li, Hongbo Wang, Jason Chen, Changjun Chen (SY MTG), Xiang Yang (IoTG), Wentong Wu, Jonathan Ding, Dong Wang, Sharron Liu, Hai Tao Wang/Mingyuan Qi, Bo He, Chin Huat Ang, Jack Ren, Junjie Mao, Jerry Zhou (HopeRun), Steven Wang, Lai Ren (Bluetooth SIG), Wei Deng/Yangzhou Ge, Ken Lu; Bin Yang/Yan Chen, Zhuangzhi, Li, Junwei Fan (KiWiSEc), Chen Conghui

Demo Owners: Terry Zou, Hongbo Wang, Wentong Wu, Chao Li, Zhuangzhi Li, Roger Feng, Hai Tao Wang, Neo Fang

Planning TF Members: Cherry Wang, Fleming Feng, James Wu, Hongbo Wang, Jocelyn Li, Harold Yang, Cindy Xie, Hongyu Zhang, Hai Tao Wang, Randy Xu, Rick Wang, Peter Zhu

Event Logistics/Volunteers: Hongbo Wang, Xin Liu, Queenie Gu, Suzie Yang, Yimeng, Liu

Other Supports: Paul Zhang (IoTG), Grace Zhang (IoTG), Xufang Wang (IoTG), Hao Zhang (SMG), Dennis Yuen (SMG), Di Lu (SMG), Ted Ye (IoTG), Melissa Evers-Hood (SSP), Pallavi Sharma (SSP)

ACRN Project Releases Version 1.1

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We are pleased to announce the release of ACRN™ Hypervisor version 1.1 which introduces Hybrid Mode and support for Zephyr, VxWorks and Windows as new Guest Operating Systems.

In this reference release, we use Clear Linux* as the Service OS (SOS) and User OS (UOS).  Android* and other Linux* based OSes can also be used as a UOS.

See the full release notes and latest documentation for more information about this 1.1 release.

Key features for this 1.1 release include:

Hybrid Mode Introduced

In hybrid mode, the hypervisor launches the Zephyr OS even before the Service OS is launched (pre-launched), with dedicated resources to achieve the highest level of isolation. This is designed to meet the needs of a Functional Safety (FuSa) certifiable safety OS.

Support for new guest Operating Systems

  • The Zephyr RTOS can be a pre-launched Safety OS in hybrid mode. It can also be a post-launched (launched by Service OS, not the hypervisor) as a guest OS.
  • VxWorks as a post-launched RTOS for industrial usages.
  • Windows as a post-launched OS

Document updates

We have many reference documents available, including:

Refer to the ACRN version 1.1 release notes for more details.


About the ACRN™ Project

ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor, built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform. To learn more, please visit https://projectacrn.org/.

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

Open Source Drives IoT From Device to Edge

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The 1st PRC IoT Open Source Projects Seminar will be held from June 11 to 12, 2019,We are very pleased to invite you to attend the Event in Shanghai.

Open source is now mainstream in all software stack, Intel is leading open source software development which covers a large span of technologies from virtualization, real-time, security and safety etc. Numerous IoT innovations can benefit from these open source projects, from device to edge to cloud with Intel platforms.

ACRN will be a key sponsor for this seminar. You will learn the ACRN v1.0 key features, the new architecture changes for industry real-time workload consolidation, future roadmap, and so on. You’ll also see a lot of demos from both ACRN and its partners. This will also be a good opportunity for the community to get to know each other and discuss technical opens, provide feedback and suggestions interactively.

We sincerely look forward to your participation!

Registration

Date and Venue

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 9:30 AM to Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 5:00 PM
  • Intel APAC R&D Lt.d. (No. 880 Zi Xing RD, Shanghai Zizhu Science Park)

HopeRun Software Joins ACRN Hypervisor community to Accelerate Virtualization Solutions

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HopeRun Software announced that it has become a strategic software partner of the open source technology Project ACRN, which will be a key component of its virtualization strategy. This is another major development for HopeRun Software’s IoT engagement. They have added support for 74 chip-level capabilities on the HiHope platform which will have a significant impact in the field of embedded virtualization such as in-vehicle, power management, and retail.

ACRN: Embedded Virtualization Open Source Platform for IoT

Embedded IoT virtualization is faced with three major challenges.

The first challenge is the need to support multiple operating systems. In the embedded ecosystem there are a variety of operating systems and software solutions when compared to the cloud environment.

The second challenge is the support for additional hardware resource sharing. Cloud virtualization sharing covers the traditional CPU, memory, storage, and network resources. Taking the in-car scenario as an example of the IoT field, it is necessary to concurrently support the sharing of camera image processing, peripheral sharing of audio resources, and security hardware. These are not typically relevant in the cloud.

The third challenge is the integration of simultaneous security and non-security domains. These are very important in smart driving and other IoT application scenarios. Integrating both scenarios in the same hardware environment is a significant technical challenge.

The ACRN hypervisor project was launched in March 2018 as part of the solution to these challenges. ACRN is lightweight, real-time, adaptable, open source, security, as well as othersIt has become a leading open source hypervisor in the IoT field. It intentionally has a small footprint, under 25K lines of source code. It is the hypervisor designed specifically for embedded IoT.

ACRN has rich virtualization feature set as well as extensive IO sharing capabilities. It supports each operating system running as a virtual machine (VM) on the same platform for better security isolation. Hypervisor technology provides a significant advantage by enabling workloads of different types to be consolidated onto a single platform. This reduces development and deployment costs and allows for a leaner overall system architecture. This helps customers save on hardware costs while providing strong technical support for security and efficiency of the entire system.

Three advantages of HopeRun Software align with ACRN’s virtualization strategy

ACRN is an open source virtualization solution which provides the foundation for companies like HopeRun to create a productized solution. HopeRun Software has three key advantages in productizing ACRN.

First, ACRN focuses on four major embedded virtualization areas including retail, industrial, energy, and automotive. The IoT strategy announced by HopeRun Software is strategically aligned by focusing on smart retail, smart power, smart driving, etc. Through years of software engineering practice, HopeRun Software has established deep and long-term cooperative relationships with many leading customers such as Yum! China and State Grid Power in the fields of retail and power industry. HopeRun Software believes that many other major industry players will also be deploying ACRN-based complete virtualization solutions.

Second, HopeRun Software has established a technical team of nearly 100 people, with strong technology development and virtualization solutions capabilities. HopeRun Software has been following the development of ACRN technology closely since its inception.

Third, HopeRun has rapidly developed its own unique integration solution capabilities such as car dashboard cluster, developing and testing and customization, development and testing for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, as well as many others. At the beginning of 2019, HopeRun Software pioneered the prototype of the ACRN-based smart cockpit in China: the software-defined cockpit SDC.

ACRN and the HopeRun and HiHope Solution

ACRN is neutral governance, open source project supporting X86, ARM and a diverse set of other architectures. In the early 2018, HopeRun Software officially launched HiHope, a new generation of artificial intelligence computing open source platform. It fully supports the ARM architecture. In March of this year (2019), HopeRun Software published a list of 74 chip-level capabilities[based on ARM architecture, covering a comprehensive capability chain such as chip-level design, chip-level hardware, chip-level software, and chip-level solutions. HopeRun Software is actively planning to port the HiHope platform to the X86 architecture.

The HopeRun Software HiHope platform’s approach of “Chip + Algorithm + Application” provides an end-to-end solution. The technical and deployment system and one-stop professional delivery mode for complete pre-research, design, development and testing, provides an extensive environment for imagination in deepening strategic cooperation to rapidly expand customers and markets in the field of embedded virtualization such as retail, energy, and automotive.

Case Study: ACRN Helps Neusoft Automotive Develop Smart Cockpit Systems by Leveraging the Advantages of Open Source Technology

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Neusoft entered the field of automotive electronics through cooperation with Alpine in 1991. In the past 27 years, the company has solidified its technical strength, accumulated deep technical experience, and integrated the innovation capabilities of automotive electronics technology from three diverse geographic regions. Neusoft has established extensive cooperation with many of the world’s top automakers with rich experience in products and services and has signed framework contracts with a number of domestic and foreign automakers. A number of automotive electronic products have been planned, designed and developed under the cooperative development architecture.

Neusoft Automotive also relies on intelligent products and scenario-oriented functions to continuously and actively enhance the driving experience. The smart cockpit system connected to the cloud and deeply integrated with the Internet, an open intelligent connected ecosystem is built to provide a complete set of intelligent connected travel solutions.

Neusoft Automotive has made advanced planning in line with the trends in the context of the four transformations of automotive electronics (electric-driven, intelligent, connected and shared). Taking advantage of its years of experience with in-vehicle products and technological innovation, Neusoft has become the first Chinese company to develop a smart cockpit system and achieved mass production. Development of the smart cockpit system required overcoming significant challenges from the technology and from the industry.

First, comprehensive commercial solutions were costly and difficult to customize. This made it difficult to meet the project’s schedules. Second, virtualization technologies based on X86 platforms required both high performance and security of the GPU. Finally, the electronic cockpit system based on virtualization technology required integrating a great many technologies, and complex hardware and software architectures.

ACRN assists Neusoft Automotive in developing a smart cockpit system

In the early stage of the smart cockpit system R&D, Neusoft Automotive evaluated and selected the open source ACRN project from a number of virtualization solutions. Adopting ACRN meets the needs of Neusoft Automotive and automakers by:

First, ACRN meets the technical needs by adapting the virtualization technology to effectively isolate the dashboard and the central control operating system, by supporting rich IO sharing and the latest Android version;

Second, the use of ACRN makes it easy to expand the basic functionality of the electronic cockpit and to quickly respond to customer feedback.


Neusoft Automotive implements project design and continuously improves ACRN functions


In the course of this project Neusoft Automotive, with its years of experience in in-vehicle products and the technical knowhow, provided valuable expertise that resulted in significantly improved ACRN functionality. For instance:

  • The support for GPIO control has been extended on ACRN, which better meets the development needs of automakers in real-world circumstances;
  • Neusoft Automotive added support for DSI screens to the existing support for two HDMI screens, thus enabling ACRN to support three screens, as required to meet the needs of high-end smart cockpit systems;
  • The support for PWM has been extended. This enables ACRN support for screen brightness adjustment and other related functions;
  • The virtualization of support for sounds has been achieved on ACRN;
  • An overall upgrade plan for the electronic cockpit system based on ACRN has been achieved;
Project Instance

As shown above, the project is a smart cockpit system developed together by Neusoft Automotive and Intel for automotive electronics manufacturers, using the Intel Apollo Lake SOC hardware solution and the ACRN software solution. In addition to the support for common functions such as full-LCD instruments and entertainment information systems, the project also supports 360-degree panorama view, DVR, fatigue driving detection, alarm and other functions, as well as mainstream third-party Android APPs.

“The smart cockpit system based on ACRN and the Intel platform is a key platform for mass production of Neusoft Automotive,” said Meng Lingjun, Vice President of Neusoft Corporation and GM of Neusoft Automotive, “Neusoft and Intel have jointly initiated the mass production project of ACRN-based smart cockpit system, under which the first product of mass production is believed to be successfully developed with the joint efforts of the two parties. Combining the strong technical strengths and innovative abilities of the two companies, they will gain greater market share in China.”

About ACRN

Released by the Linux Foundation in March 2018, ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor. It is built with real time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform. The project provides a reference design framework for industry leaders to build an open-source embedded hypervisor, which is especially suitable for the IoT field.

About Neusoft

Neusoft provides innovative information technology – enabled solutions and services to meet the demands arising from social transformation, to shape new life styles for individuals and to create values for the society. Through 27 years of practice and accumulation in the field of automotive electronics, Neusoft has become the world’s leading provider of in-vehicle infotainment systems. Neusoft is the first listed software company in China, and the first software company in China which pass the CMM5 Level 5 and CMMI (V1.2) Level 5 certifications. For more information, please visit: http://www.neusoft.com

ACRN Project Releases Version 1.0

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We are pleased to announce the release of ACRN™ Hypervisor version 1.0, a key Project ACRN milestone focused on automotive Software-Defined Cockpit (SDC) use cases and introducing additional architecture enhancements for more IoT usages, such as Industrial workload consolidation.

This v1.0 release is a production-ready reference solution for SDC usages that typically require multiple VMs, GPU sharing, and rich I/O mediation for sharing storage, network, USB devices, and more. This release also includes architectural enhancements for supporting diverse IoT workload consolidation usages, for example, Logical Partition mode and initial Real-Time VM support.

In this reference release, we use Clear Linux* as the Service OS (SOS) and User OS (UOS).  Android* and other Linux* based OSes can also be used as a UOS.

See the full release notes and latest documentation for more information about this 1.0 release.

Key features for this 1.0 release include:

Supported Hardware

  • ACRN supports multiple x86 platforms and has been tested with Apollo Lake and Kaby Lake NUCs, and the Apollo Lake UP Squared (UP2) board.

Supported Firmware

  • UEFI BIOS and Slim Bootloader (SBL) have been tested on NUC and UP2 boards. Slim Bootloader is a modern, flexible, light-weight, open source reference bootloader that is also fast, small, customizable, and secure.

Supported OSes

  • Clear Linux is supported and used as the release reference for the Service and User OS.

CPU Virtualization

  • Based on Intel VT-x virtualization technology, ACRN emulates a virtual CPU with core partitioning. The ACRN hypervisor supports virtualized APIC-V, EPT, IOAPIC, and LAPIC functionality.

GVT-g Virtual Graphics (a.k.a. AcrnGT)

  • GVT-g virtual graphics support lets the Service OS and User OS applications run GPU workloads simultaneously with minimal overhead. This helps ensure that both the SOS and the UOS instances can benefit from the full physical GPU capabilities.
  • AcrnGT supports Direct display, where the Service OS and User OS are each assigned to a different display. The display ports support eDP and HDMI.
  • AcrnGT supports GPU Preemption, where the system will preempt GPU resources occupied by lower priority workloads when needed. GPU preemption ensures the graphics performance needs of critical workloads can be met, such as the display frame rate per second of an SDC Instrument Cluster.
  • AcrnGT supports Surface Sharing, which allows the SOS to access an individual surface (or a set of surfaces) from the UOS without accessing the entire frame buffer of the UOS.

Devices Features

  • Device pass-through: VT-d provides hardware support for isolating and restricting device access to only the owner of the partition managing the device. It allows assigning I/O devices to a VM and extending the protection and isolation properties of VMs for I/O operations.
  • Virtio virtualization: The Service OS and User OS applications can share physical devices using industry-standard I/O virtualization virtio APIs, where performance-critical device sharing is enabled. By adopting the virtio specification, we can reuse many frontend virtio drivers already available in a Linux-based User OS, dramatically reducing the development effort for the frontend drivers.
  • Ethernet: ACRN hypervisor supports virtualized Ethernet functionality. The Ethernet Mediator is executed in the Service OS and provides packet forwarding between the physical networking devices (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc.) and virtual devices in User OS VMs. The HW platform physical connection can be shared, for regular (i.e. non-AVB) traffic, with Linux or Android applications by the SOS.
  • Wi-Fi: ACRN hypervisor supports pass-through of the Wi-Fi controller to a UOS, enables control of Wi-Fi as an in-vehicle hotspot for third-party devices, provides third-party device applications access to the vehicle, and provides third-party devices access to the TCU (if applicable) used to interpret and disperse data between electronic systems in an automobile.
  • Bluetooth: ACRN hypervisor supports Bluetooth controller pass-through to a single UOS, for example, for In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) use cases.
  • Mass Storage: ACRN hypervisor supports virtualized non-volatile R/W storage for Service OS and User OS instances, supporting VM private storage and storage shared between User OS instances.
  • USB Virtualization: ACRN hypervisor supports pass-through of USB xDCI controllers to a User OS from the platform. ACRN hypervisor supports an emulated USB xHCI controller for a User OS.
  • Image Processing Unit (IPU): ACRN hypervisor provides an IPU mediator to share with a User OS. Alternatively, the IPU can also be configured as pass-through to a User OS without sharing.
  • GPIO virtualization: ACRN supports GPIO para-virtualization based on the Virtual I/O Device (Virtio) specification. The GPIO consumers of the front-end are able to set or get GPIO values, directions, and configuration data via one virtual GPIO controller. In the back-end, the GPIO command line in the launch script can be modified to map native GPIO to a UOS.

Logical partition mode

  • In addition to “shared partition mode” support common in SDC use cases, ACRN supports a new “logical partition mode” for supporting industrial uses. With logical partitioning, all UOS VMs are launched directly by the hypervisor and not through the SOS VM, allowing the UOS VMs to run with minimal hypervisor intervention.

Preliminary support for Industrial workload consolidation

  • While this release focuses on SDC use-cases, this release includes preliminary support for Industrial use-cases.  
  • A UOS can run as a virtual machine (VM) with real-time characteristics.  A tutorial on how to use PREEMPT_RT-Linux for real-time UOS is published.
  • ACRN supports starting a UOS VM as a “Pre-launched VM”, (launched before the Service OS is started), and a “Post-launched VM”, (launched by the Service OS).
  • Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) is available on Apollo Lake (APL) platforms, providing cache isolation between VMs. CAT is used mainly for real-time performance quality of service (QoS).
  • ACRN supports Device-Model QoS based on a runC container to control the SOS resources (CPU, Storage, MEM, NET) by modifying the runC configuration file.

Refer to the ACRN version 1.0 release notes for more details. To learn more about the ACRN project community and products using ACRN,  visit the projectacrn.org website.


About the ACRN™ Project

ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor, built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform. To learn more, please visit https://projectacrn.org/.

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

ACRN Project Releases Version 0.8

By Blog

We are pleased to announce the release of Project ACRN version 0.8 (see the release notes and documentation). ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor, built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform. Check out the Introduction to Project ACRN for more information. The project team encourages you totry it out, and also to join the weekly technical call.

All project ACRN source code is maintained in the https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-hypervisor repository and includes folders for the ACRN hypervisor, the ACRN device model, and documentation. You can either download this source code as a zip or tar.gz file (see the ACRN v0.8 GitHub release page or use git clone and checkout commands:

   git clone https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-hypervisor
   cd acrn-hypervisor
   git checkout v0.8

The project’s online technical documentation is also tagged to correspond with a specific release: generated v0.8 documents can be found at https://projectacrn.github.io/0.8/. Documentation for the latest (master) branch is available at https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/.

ACRN v0.8 requires Clear Linux OS version 28260 or newer. Please follow the instructions in the Getting started guide for Intel NUC.

Version 0.8 new features

GPIO virtualization

GPIO virtualization is supported as para-virtualization based on the Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) specification. The GPIO consumers of the Front-end are able to set or get GPIO values, directions, and configuration via one virtual GPIO controller. In the Back-end, the GPIO command line in the launch script can be modified to map native GPIO to UOS.

Enable QoS based on runC container

ACRN supports Device-Model QoS based on runC container to control the SOS resources (CPU, Storage, MEM, NET) by modifying the runC configuration file.

S5 support for RTVM

ACRN supports a Real-time VM (RTVM) shutting itself down. A RTVM is a kind of VM that the SOS can’t interfere at runtime, and as such, can only power itself off internally. All poweroff requests external to the RTVM will be rejected to avoid any interference.

Document updates

Several new documents have been added in this release, including:

Fixed Issues:

See the release notes.

Known Issues:

See the release notes.

ACRN Project Releases Version 0.7

By Blog

We are pleased to announce the release of Project ACRN version 0.7 (see the release notes and documentation). ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor, built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform. Check out the Introduction to Project ACRN for more information. The project team encourages you to try it out, and also to join the weekly technical call.

All project ACRN source code is maintained in the https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-hypervisor repository and includes folders for the ACRN hypervisor, the ACRN device model, and documentation. You can either download this source code as a zip or tar.gz file (see the ACRN v0.7 GitHub release page or use git clone and checkout commands:


git clone https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-hypervisor
cd acrn-hypervisor
git checkout v0.7

The project’s online technical documentation is also tagged to correspond with a specific release: generated v0.7 documents can be found at https://projectacrn.github.io/0.7/. Documentation for the latest (master) branch is available at https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/.

ACRN v0.7 requires Clear Linux OS version 28260 or newer. Please follow the instructions in the Getting started guide for Intel NUC.

Version 0.7 new features

Enable cache QOS with CAT

Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) is enabled on Apollo Lake (APL) platforms, providing cache isolation between VMs mainly for real-time performance quality of service (QoS). The CAT for a specific VM is normally set up at boot time per the VM configuration determined at build time. For debugging and performance tuning, the CAT can also be enabled and configured at runtime by writing proper values to certain MSRs using the wrmsr command using the ACRN shell.

Support ACPI power key mediator

ACRN supports ACPI power/sleep key on the APL and KBL NUC platforms, triggering S3/S5 flow, following the ACPI spec.

Document updates

Several new documents have been added in this release, including:

See the full release notes for details about new features, issues addressed, known issues remaining, and the change log since the previous 0.6 release.

Fixed Issues:

See the release notes.

Known Issues:

See the release notes.