Power.org has finalized the Power ISA Version 2.06 Revision B, which allows multiple operating systems to run over multiple embedded cores, providing the requisite isolation and protection while increasing performance through hardware virtualization. Power.org is the open collaborative organization that enables, develops and promotes Power Architecture technology. Power ISA is the base for all Power processor hardware and software.
Increasingly, developers are adopting multicore SOC designs in the embedded space. The Power ISA Version 2.06 Revision B allows systems built to its specification to improve virtualization capabilities and to enhance reliability, important characteristics for multicore solutions.
The enhancements introduced in this version take hardware virtualization to the embedded space and provide a standard approach for third party software that allows guest operating systems to leverage the hardware virtualization in a unified approach. This eliminates the need for redundant third party software and reduces development costs. At the same time it helps accelerate market deployment schedules.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.