OK Labs technology leadership in embedded systems software and virtualization technology enables the development of secure, reliable, trustworthy and affordable devices. Backed by the largest, independent team of microkernel developers, OK Labs open source microkernel operating system, OKL4, offers the highest proven performance combined with strong protection and security features in order to provide developers with a robust, open source platform for building secure, differentiated embedded applications. For more information on OK Labs and its products visit www.ok-labs.com. OK Labs is a spin-out from NICTA, Australiaâ€™s preeminent Center of Excellence for information and communications technology (ICT), www.nicta.com.au.
Virtualization has recently become important technology for embedded systems. So, it is important for embedded-systems developers to understand the power and limitations of virtualization. This paper presents an introduction to virtualization technology and specifically discusses its application to embedded systems. It explains the inherent differences between the enterprise-systems style of virtualization and embedded system virtualization. It explains virtualizationâ€™s benefits in embedded systems, and with regard to security and IP protection. It discusses the limitations of plain virtualization approaches in embedded systems. These relate to the highly-integrated nature of embedded systems, specifically security and reliability requirements. It presents the microkernel approach to virtualization, and explains the microkernelâ€™s suitability for embedded systems. It shows how microkernels like Open Kernelâ€™s OKL4 technology overcome limitations of plain virtualization.