Application Specific Operating Systems


John Stankovic, Marty Humphrey, Chenyang Lu, Ruiqing Zhu, Ram Poornalingam




Application specific operating systems (ASOS) have been around for quite some time, but at a fairly high level of granularity, e.g., in microkernel architectures you can tailor your OS needs by running various OS functions as user level processes. However, we are developing application specific operating system components at a very fine level of granularity. This would enable the construction of microkernels themselves as well as more specialized system software for information products including embedded systems and real-time systems.

One key theme for our work is the notion of reconfigurable HW/OS. Since the first microkernel appeared, there has been support for Application Specific Operating Systems . ASOS represent a form of reconfiguration and many research projects have attempted to refine this concept to provide lower cost and higher performance. With embedded systems becoming more prevalent, there is another impetus for reconfigurability. In our work we are interested in reconfigurability from design time to runtime. We are also looking into exploiting new hardware features that allow very dynamic re-initializing of FPGAs (i.e., reconfigurability of HW on-the-fly) and the impact of such HW on the OS. One specific project we have is the development of component-based microkernels that are hot swappable. In particlar, we are looking into ways in which to write OS components that permit hot swapping.

Selected Publications