Hypervisors: Help Or Hindrance?

Almost everything is a tradeoff and tipping the scales is usually influenced by the end product goals. Hypervisors have a few such parameters.

Brian Bailey is Technology Editor/EDA for Semiconductor Engineering and has written an interesting article related to Hypervisors.

Hypervisors are seeing an increased level of adoption, but do they help or hinder the development and verification process? The answer may depend on your perspective.

In the hardware world, system-level integration is rapidly becoming a roadblock in the development process. While each of the pieces may be known to work separately, as soon as they are put together, the interactions between them can create a number of problems. The industry is working to come up with some tools and methodologies that constrain this problem.

In the software world, they are taking a different approach. They are using a hypervisor to create well-defined interfaces between the individual software blocks, ensuring that one cannot disturb another. This enables applications to be built that are more robust, provide a significant increase in security, allow for staged development and enables the controlled intermixing of attributes of a real time environment, with a more flexible operating system environment such as Linux.

But this problem is multi-faceted, and what helps in one area can cause problems for another. Balancing all of them may depend on what you are attempting to create and the value you place on certain attributes of the development process. “Safety critical applications are becoming increasingly competitive, and there is always a push for more functionality in these systems,” says...

To read the article, click here.

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