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EETE JULAUG 2013

Embedded Linux kernel tuned for virtualization and determinism By Nick Flaherty Wind River has tackled one of the main objections to using virtualization in networking and communications applications by optimizing the embedded Linux kernel for Real Time performance. The Open Virtualization Profile is an add-on software profile for Wind River Linux developed by optimizing open source Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology. This provides a real-time deterministic KVM solution, with virtual machine management to allow hypervisor and virtualization technology to reduce hardware costs and provide software intelligence portability across the network. The Open Virtualization Profile allows the deployment of network services on virtual machines without the performance loss associated with using traditional, propriety IT-like virtualization products. This real-time approach enables products that can flexibly run intelligent services anywhere on the network, from access right to the core, driving up network efficiency and substantially lowering operational network costs. The profile includes low latency with less than 3 microseconds minimum latency, flexible provisioning of virtual machines, live migration of virtual machines and CPU Isolation for advanced security application. It is open source-based and compatible with frameworks such as the Yocto Project, OpenStack, OpenFlow, oVirt and others, with broad support for a variety of guest operating systems The kernel is integrated with Intel Data Plane Development Kit (Intel DPDK) and supports Intel DPDK Accelerated Open vSwitch “As networks are pushed to their limits, virtualization is becoming an increasingly important approach. Operators are looking toward NFV to support the transition to scalable platforms that enable flexible deployment of network services,” said Jim Douglas, senior vice president of marketing at Wind River. “With Wind River Open Virtualization Profile, we are delivering a real-time virtualization solution that will support the rigorous SLAs of a carrier network and enable them to gain the flexibility, scalability, and cost and energy benefits cloud data centers already enjoy.” “By moving from a distributed hardware environment to a flexible and virtualized environment or cloud, operators can rapidly deploy new applications and services where and when they are needed instead of updating individual central office locations or hardware,” he said. Wind River Open Virtualization Profile will be available in Q3 2013 Non-volatile CBRAM memory block operates at less than 1V By Julien Happich Adesto Technologies has presented a paper on the ultra-low power operation of its proprietary CBRAM (Conductive Bridging RAM) memory at the 2013 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Kyoto, Japan. The paper explores the use of the non-volatile memory technology embedded in a body sensor, a device developed to operate without a battery in the system, through the use of energy harvesting. The paper follows the successful completion of a project in cooperation with a team of technologists from the University of Virginia to create a low energy device to acquire physiological data from the human body, process that data, and transfer it through wireless communication. The project was partially funded by DARPA through the US government’s program to invest in and award small business innovation research (SBIR). CBRAM is an emerging, disruptive memory technology which can be integrated in standard CMOS processes, function as a discrete memory device or be embedded in microcontrollers, System-on-Chip (SOC) or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). The paper demonstrates the ability of a non-volatile CBRAM memory block to operate at less than 1V supply voltage for read, program and erase functions without the need for charge pumps. This low-power functionality translates to 3x lower write voltage and approximately 10x lower write energy compared to other low energy non-volatile memory devices. “We have built some exciting wearable wireless body Sensors that run completely without batteries from body heat, but one key missing piece was non-volatile memory (NVM). Existing NVM devices are way too power-hungry for our aggressive power budgets,” said Ben Calhoun, associate professor at the University of Virginia, “This integrated ultra-low-power CBRAM from Adesto is an important advance for self-powered systems.” “Ultra-low energy non-volatile memory like CBRAM is essential to the development of energy starved technologies that require stored instructions and data collection over an extended period,” said Shane Hollmer, VP of Engineering at Adesto. “These devices must preserve data even in the event of power interruptions and failures. CBRAM is a natural fit for these applications.” 16 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2013
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