Virtual Hellfire Hypervisor: Extending Hellfire Framework for Embedded Virtualization Support

Alexandra Aguiar and Fabiano Hessel


Virtualization of embedded systems has recently been in the spotlight especially because of the numerous advantages it can bring. Among these, the improvement of software design quality can be highlighted, since legacy software can be reused along with newer applications, easing newer and older systems' integration. Also, security concerned systems can enjoy the gains of virtualization: two Operating Systems (OS) can be used, namely an application OS and a security certified OS, both running on the same machine. Though virtualization can offer so many benefits, its use in embedded systems is still not as wide as it should or could be. The numerous constraints of embedded systems combined with suspicious thoughts whether virtualization overheads are prohibitive or not prevent its wide adoption. Thus, we present in this paper a methodology for an extension of the Hellfire Framework Project and the creation of the Virtual Hellfire Hypervisor - VHH. The Hellfire Framework already offers an integrated tool-flow in which design space exploration (DSE), OS customization and static and dynamic application mapping are highly automated. Therefore, we show the potential benefits of integrating existing embedded systems tools, like the Hellfire Framework, to virtualization facilities and how this can impact in the overall system design quality.