Electronic Design

Commercial Version Of L4 Microkernel Available

OKL4, Open Kernel Labs' commercial version of the L4 microkernel, provides the required features for next-generation medium- to high-end embedded systems. These include virtualization and protection of subsystems from faulty or malicious components, whether they're part of the shipped device or installed by end users.

OKL4 is based on an extremely small, open-source microkernel that efficiently manages hardware resources. It's the only code that executes in privileged processor mode. OKL4's virtualization support lets customers run multiple operating systems (OSs), in user mode, on the same processor core. At the same time, a native programming environment supports the development of subsystems without a guest OS, dramatically reducing the amount of code on which such a subsystem depends.

Virtualization technology provides secure partitioning that protects the real-time part of the system from a malfunctioning or compromised high-level operating system. Virtualization can also encapsulate components that are under the GPL open-source license, protecting valuable company intellectual property from the obligation to publish source code. In addition, OKL4 supports high-performance communication and resource sharing between subsystems, an essential feature given the highly integrated nature of embedded systems. OKL4 is available today and will continue to be available through an open-source (BSD) license.


OKL4 is currently available for ARM v4/v5 and x86 processors. Support for MIPS processors is expected shortly.


The commercial edition of OKL4 includes a customer service and customer support package that provides OKL4 customization, processor architecture porting, and support and training for OKL4 and related technologies. Contact the company for pricing.


Visit www.ok-labs.com.

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