Major Windows Real-time extension and Real-time Hypervisor product update:
Ravensburg, March 1st 2020
acontis technologies has released version 7.0 of its leading Windows Real-time extensions and Real-time Hypervisor products.
These products enable customers to run real-time applications on Windows. Furthermore customers can consolidate hardware running Windows and real-time Linux, VxWorks or On Time RTOS-32 concurrently on a single PC.
Version 7.0: General New Features related to all products
Intel® Resource Director Technology (Intel® RDT) Support
Intel® RDT provides monitoring and control over shared platform resources. This helps ensure that application Quality of Service (QoS) targets can be met. The technology enables monitoring and allocation of memory bandwidth or Last Level Cache (LLC), per application, container, virtual machine (VM), or even per-thread if necessary.
Cache Allocation Technology (CAT)
Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) Software-guided redistribution of cache capacity is enabled by CAT. This enables the real-time part to benefit from improved cache capacity and reduced cache contention. CAT thus will enhance runtime determinism and prioritize real-time applications over Windows.
Memory Bandwith Allocation (MBA)
Memory Bandwidth Allocation (MBA) enables approximate and indirect control over memory bandwidth available to workloads, enabling new levels of interference mitigation and bandwidth shaping for “noisy neighbors” present on the system. Utilizing MBA will limit memory bandwidth for Windows and thus can significantly reduce the jitter of the real-time part.
Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) Support
Hardware virtualization is a technology that was introduced to run multiple operating systems on one computer. This technology typically is used for virtualization of servers as well as for desktop virtualization to improve performance. For real-time virtualization, this technology is not necessarily required as real-time needs non-virtualized hardware access as well as deterministic behavior. However, utilizing this technology in real-time virtualization software introduces benefits to customers, without introducing additional latencies.
Operating System Isolation
Hardware virtualization technology can be used to better isolate the operating systems from each other. Buggy real-time applications or drivers may lead to system crashes. Such crash in some cases could lead to rebooting the computer which makes diagnosis rather difficult. In such cases, using Intel VT would lead to a so called VM exit and the real-time runtime environment will print out an appropriate error message that can help customers to find the driver bug.
In the case, the real-time part runs in 32 Bit mode it cannot access physical memory above 4 GByte. On some systems this can become a serious limitation. Intel VT offers an additional memory management layer that enables the real-time part to use memory above 4 GByte without the need to change any applications or device drivers.
Suppress System Management Interrupts (SMIs)
SMIs are the deadly enemies of real-time and determinism. In new versions of Windows 10, such SMIs may be vastly generated by the operating system and if the BIOS does not suppress disable these SMIs, such PC cannot be used at all for real-time virtualization applications. With Intel VT enabled, the Hypervisor can monitor such SMI generation by the Windows 10 operating system and thus suppress the majority of these SMIs.