Genode Labs Newsletter - April/May 2009


 1. Welcoming new members of Genode Labs
 2. Paper about the Genode FPGA Graphics Project
 3. Bringing the Genode OS Framework to OKL4
 4. Genode OS Framework release 9.05

 1. Welcoming new members of Genode Labs

 We are very happy to welcome Christian Prochaska, Stefan Kalkowski,
 and Sebastian Sumpf as new members of the Genode Labs staff. In the
 past, Christian created the Genode port of Qt4 and contributed his
 work to our project. As member of Genode Labs, he will continue his
 efforts to advance Genode to a generally usable operating system.
 Stefan and Sebastian are former staff members of the TUD:OS group
 and gained long-year practical experience with microkernel-based
 system architectures. Because both had been extremely supportive for
 Genode in the past, it is pleasure for us to team up with them. We
 are looking forward to shape the future of Genode Labs together.

 2. Paper about the Genode FPGA Graphics Project published

 The Genode FPGA Graphics project (Genode FX) has gained steadily
 growing interest since the first release in autumn 2008. We are
 particularly happy to see academic and research institutions picking
 up the open-source version of this project. Until now, however,
 technical background information about Genode FX was rather sparse.
 We have now published the following paper to fill this gap:

  Norman Feske and Matthias Alles:
  "Genode FX: an FPGA-based GUI with Bounded Output Latency and
   Guaranteed Responsiveness to User Input"
  (Technical Report, Genode Labs, May 2009)


  "This paper presents a composition of hardware and software that
   forms a fully fledged windowed GUI on a single FPGA plus memory
   chip. The solution scales with the full range of Xilinx FPGAs.
   But even on the low-cost Xilinx Spartan3A FPGA, the GUI operating
   at a 16-bit resolution of 640x480 is able to guarantee a bounded
   output latency of only 220 ms and a guaranteed response time to
   user input of less then 20 ms. The paper covers both an overview
   of our custom hardware design and our software algorithms that
   make these guarantees possible."

 On 14th of May, we presented Genode FX at the 10. Workshop Mikro-
 controller-Applikation in Mittweida. The following German summary
 of our paper appeared in the accompanying proceedings:

  Norman Feske:
  "Genode FX: eine FPGA-basierte grafische Benutzerschnittstelle"
  (10. Workshop Mikrocontroller-Applikation, Mittweida 14. Mai 2009)


 3. Bringing the Genode OS Framework to OKL4

 With the ongoing development of the Genode OS Framework, we pursue
 the goal to establish a unified programming environment for building
 applications, protocol stacks, and device drivers that are portable
 among different microkernel-based systems. We hope that a common
 ground will motivate the various existing microkernel communities
 to unite their efforts. From our perspective, the OKL4 community is
 one of the most important ones in the world of L4 microkernels. We
 appreciate the their cutting-edge efforts for building a formally
 verified kernel and regard the commercial success of Open Kernel Labs
 as a huge leap for the L4 community as a whole. Also from a technical
 perspective, the OKL4 kernel is intriguing as a base platform for
 Genode. Of all kernels supported so far, OKL4's kernel interface fits
 best with Genode, and with its recent versions, OKL4 has evolved to a
 capability-based kernel. Furthermore, there exists a user-level
 variant of Linux running on top of OKL4, which is attractive for
 us as well.

 We have now made Genode available on the OKL4 kernel. Even though
 not all Genode features are supported on this new platform yet,
 the complete demonstration scenario including user-level device
 drivers and the Nitpicker GUI are running with OKL4 version 2.1 on
 plain PC hardware. For those interested in learning more about
 the inner workings of Genode and the specialities of the OKL4 base
 platform, we have documented our work in the following article:


 4. Genode OS Framework release 9.05

 On 27th of May, we released the version 9.05 of the Genode OS
 Framework. The most important features are

 * Support for the OKL4 kernel as base platform
 * Integration the Qt4 application framework into the mainline source
   tree and bumped the version to 4.5.1.
 * The first parts of our USB stack including host-controller drivers
   (UHCI, OHCI, and EHCI) and a human-interface device (HID) driver
 * Support for 64-bit Linux as base platform

 All the new features and changes are described in our detailed
 release notes:


 We have also updated our road map for the upcoming releases. The next
 release will be focused on refinements and optimizations such as
 support for shared libraries, and the decomposition of the network
 and USB stacks. Towards the end of the year, we aim to be able to
 host unmodified POSIX applications executed within one or multiple
 lightweight POSIX execution environments as Genode sub systems. You
 can revisit our updated road map here:


 About the newsletter

 If you have friends or colleagues who might be interested in our
 projects, we would appreciate you to forward this email. If you
 received this newsletter as a forwarded email, you may subscribe
 to the newsletter here:


 In the case of receiving this newsletter unintended, you can
 cancel your subscription at any time by replying to this email
 with the subject set to "unsubscribe".

 Best regards
 Norman Feske
 Genode Labs

 http://www.genode-labs.com ยท http://genode.org

postal address:

  Genode Labs GmbH
  Dammweg 2
  D-01097 Dresden

visiting address:

  Genode Labs GmbH
  Friedrichstr. 26
  D-01067 Dresden


  +49 351 3282613