By Buddy Broeker, Director, AMD Embedded Solutions
I lead AMD’s efforts in the Industrial Control & Automation (IC&A) market, which is part of AMD’s embedded business unit. As such, I have the opportunity to meet with IC&A customers world-wide and to hear their feedback on technology trends and requirements. A growing trend we are seeing with major OEMs in this space is the use of virtualization to combine devices with multiple, heterogeneous operating systems. For its graphical elements and ease of programming, Microsoft’s Windows® – full Windows, Windows Embedded Standard or Windows Embedded Compact – are the dominant operating systems in HMI (human-machine interface) applications. However, for real-time operation, reliability and safety in control systems such as Programmable Access Controllers (PAC) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), real-time operating systems (RTOSs) are preferred. Virtualization enables Windows to run alongside, or virtualized as a guest on top of, a deterministic real-time operating system for HMI systems used in machine and process control applications on the same processor. This enables multiple operating systems and their applications to run simultaneously, and independently, on the same processor for the purposes of enabling workload consolidation and the separation of functions.
To align with this trend, all AMD Embedded APUs and SOCs support hardware virtualization to efficiently facilitate the integration of separate systems on the factory floor; this and the X86 architecture make AMD well positioned to help customers run a combination of Windows and an RTOS on the same platform. Accelerating the virtualization on the hardware helps to prevent the processing overhead of the virtualization from impacting the user interface or, more importantly, the real-time operation. The end result is lower power, smaller footprint, reduced installation and training time and, ultimately, lower overall cost per function on the factory floor.
To learn more about AMD’s embedded solutions in the Industrial Control and Automation industry, I encourage you to visit http://www.amd.com/industrial.
Buddy Broeker is a Director for AMD Embedded Solutions. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.