Virtual Open Systems September newsletter was published today, with two articles about my work:

Mixed-critical virtualization: VOSySmcs, mixed-criticality graphic support

VOSySmcs consists of a full fledged software stack to support a modern generation of car virtual cockpit where the In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system and the Instrument Digital Cluster are consolidated and interact on a single platform. Indeed, traditional gauges and lamps are replaced by digital screens offering opportunities for new functions and interactivity. Vehicle information, entertainment, navigation, camera/video and device connectivity are being combined into displays. However, this different information does not have the same level of criticality and the consolidation of mixed-critical applications represent a real challenge.

In this context, VOSySmcs includes a mixed-criticality graphic support that enables the integration of safety-critical and non-critical information on a single display, while providing rendering guarantees for the safety-critical output. In addition, VOSySmcs supports GPU virtualization in order to provide hardware acceleration capacity for the Virtual Machines running in the non-critical partition such as Linux, Android, etc.


Computation acceleration: OpenCL inside VMs and containers

As part of the ExaNoDe H2020 research project, Virtual Open Systems develops a software API remoting solution for OpenCL. OpenCL is an open standard maintained by the Khronos Group, used for offloading computation tasks into accelerators, such as GPUs and FPGAs.

Software API remoting is a para-virtualization technique that allows accessing a host native library from the inside of a virtual machines. It operates by intercepting API function calls from the application in the guest system, and forwarding them to a helper process on the host through the use of shared memory pages. API remoting for containers can be achieved similarly, by replacing the host-to-VM communication layer (based on Virtio) with Linux inter-process communication mechanisms.

To comply with the high performance requirements of OpenCL usage, it is important to reduce as much as possible the overhead of the API remoting layer. Hence, the work has focused on passing the data buffers (that may account for several gigabytes of memory) with zero copies, that to guest physical pages lookup and remapping.