NXP (Freescale) Hypervisor

Introduction to the NXP Hypervisor

The NXP (formerly Freescale) hypervisor is a special low-level software program that facilitates secure partitioning. It acts as a partition’s resource and security manager, presenting a virtual machine to the operating system running in each partition.

The hypervisor may manage multiple virtual machines and partitions, from a single thread on a core to multiple threads and multiple cores. X-ES provides a modified, lightweight version of the NXP hypervisor that supports partitioning and isolation.

Click on the diagram image to the right to view an enlarged version.

NXP (Freescale) Hypervisor diagram

The Case for Partitioning

Systems that traditionally use multiple processing boards to isolate applications can be consolidated into a single, multi-core board by using partitioning to allow each partition to run its application separately and securely.

For example, systems that employ Linux as the control plane and a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) as the data plane can benefit from this hybrid OS approach by being consolidated into a single slot.

In secure environments, partitioning provides a means to safely and effectively protect sensitive tasks from data intrusion.

Flexible Ethernet routing through the Linux Partition Manager allow for Ethernet ports to be dedicated to each host through a MAC-less interface or switched from multiple guest OSes to a single port. For serial, each guest can be multiplexed onto a single serial line for complete access.

Mouse over the image to the left to switch between Ethernet and serial configurations.

NXP (Freescale) Hypervisor processor core icon

Cost-Effective Open Source Software

X-ES is an active contributor to NXP’s open-source hypervisor software, available free of charge and supported by X-ES for a nominal fee.

NXP (Freescale) Hypervisor processor core icon

MAC-less Interface From Guest OSes

NXP’s MAC-less interface natively achieves Gigabit Ethernet line-rate performance for Linux guest operating systems. Extended support from X-ES for the MAC-less interface to Wind River’s VxWorks RTOS also realizes line-rate performance.

NXP (Freescale) Hypervisor processor core icon

32-bit Memory Limitation Liberated

For 32-bit operating systems, partitioning enables the use of more memory past the 4 GB (32-bit) boundary natively supported by operating system. For 64-bit operating systems, the full physical 40-bit addressing is supported.

Lightweight, Performance-Oriented Functionality

The NXP (formerly Freescale) embedded hypervisor software is unlike traditional hypervisors that provide scheduling services to enable multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a single physical CPU.

Instead, the NXP hypervisor provides a simple and lightweight method that exclusively addresses the problem of partitioning and isolation without being bloated by unnecessary features and functionality.

View the NXP Hypervisor
Software Introduction from NXP

View Hypervisor Overview PDF

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