EDN (October 23, 2013)
ARM's current processor portfolio consists of three profiles: M (Microcontroller), R (Realtime), and A (Application). In fact, complex SoCs sometimes contain multiple ARM cores, possibly from the different profiles, sometimes from the same. But as processing power increases, price and performance benefits accrue to single-core systems. How can critical realtime processes be safely melded with applications running on the same microprocessor?
ARM's solution arrives in version 8 of their R(ealtime) architecture: A hypervisor implemented fully in hardware. This allows a rich OS like Linux or QNX (or both) to run under the hypervisor's hardware virtualization support, while realtime tasks and interrupts are deterministically serviced within microseconds. The realtime tasks might be running under an RTOS, or on bare metal.
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