First industrial use for ACRN hypervisor

December 14, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
First industrial use for ACRN hypervisor
TTTech Industrial will use the ACRN open source hypervisor in industrial applications using its Nerve Blue edge computing platform

TTTech Industrial has launched the first commercial implementation of the ACRN open source hypervisor.

The hypervisor was developed by the Linux Foundation with a wide range of industry support from companies such as ADLINK, Aptiv, Intel Corporation, LGE and Neusoft Corporation. ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor built with real-time processing and safety critical operation. This is used in TTTech’s Nerve Blue edge platform that runs on a variety of Intel processors in an array of industrial applications such as PLCs.

When developing ACRN 2.0, the community prioritized three key requirements for hypervisors in the Industrial IoT and edge environments: functional safety, real-time processing and resource sharing for additional flexibility. TTTech has worked closely with Intel to shape the hypervisor technology and rapidly integrate it into the Nerve Blue edge computing platform.

Nerve Blue's integration of ACRN 2.0 allows it to run PLC software for controlling high-speed machine functions alongside other less time-sensitive software applications on the same hardware platform. This creates special virtual environments that support cycle times down to 500μs for low-latency applications. For example, an injection molding machine containing a standard industrial PC can now be fitted with Nerve Blue software to run its injection pressure control, Human-Machine Interface (HMI), gateway, data analytics, and predictive maintenance functions all on the same device – delivering considerable hardware savings and aiding more efficient machine operation.

"The ACRN community is accelerating embedded development for the integration of heterogenous, real-time applications in edge environments. This milestone really represents what the technical features that set ACRN apart," said Mike Dolan, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Projects, Linux Foundation. "As the project and integrations mature, we expect even more contributions and innovations to result from this open source collaboration."

"Nerve Blue already provides users a highly virtualized environment for running machine software on standard industrial PCs. Now with the integration of ACRN 2.0 we have been able to extend our platform to safely and

Picture: 
TTTech Industrial's Nerve Blue edge platform

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