Genode Labs Newsletter - April / May 2013


 1. Genode OS Framework 13.05 released
 2. Join us at Genode's Hack'n Hike event
 3. Genode as a hybrid simulation environment for hardware design

 1. Genode OS Framework 13.05 released

 We are happy to announce the release of Genode version 13.05, which
 comes with new tools for testing and benchmarking including a suite
 of networking benchmarks, added device drivers for the Samsung
 Exynos 5 and Freescale i.MX SoCs, and new components for the
 operation of headless systems.

 At present, we recognize two challenges, which amplify each other.
 On the one hand, our user base and the user's expectations are
 steadily growing. On the other hand, we see the number of Genode
 base platforms - in particular the variety of ARM-based SoCs - to
 become more and more diverse. This observation calls for quality-
 assurance measures that go beyond unit testing and Qemu-based
 integration tests: Genode's base functionality, including device
 drivers, need to be continuously tested and measured on real
 hardware in order to let Genode scale well. To automate this task,
 version 13.05 introduces extensive tooling support including a suite
 of networking benchmarks that operates on different levels of the
 networking stack. At Genode Labs, those tools empower us to
 implement largely automatic tests and benchmarks across multiple
 hardware platforms. So our users can enjoy building upon Genode
 without being afraid of fundamental regressions.

 Speaking of broadening the hardware support, the new version
 enhances the existing base of device drivers for ARM-based SoCs with
 support for SATA, USB-3, eMMC, and networking on Samsung Exynos 5,
 as well as support for LCD display and touch-screen devices on
 Freescale i.MX SoCs. Furthermore, it features basic support for the
 Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which is the heart of the popular Raspberry Pi

 Apart from the extended pool of device drivers, there is a new
 facility for capturing log data to files stored on a file system, a
 command-line based user interface for managing Genode subsystems,
 and the addition of Linux/ARM as Genode base platform.

 The full story behind these and many more changes is detailed in the
 release notes of version 13.05:


 2. Join us at Genode's Hack'n Hike event

 In spring of 2012, we held the first instance of the Genode Hack'n
 Hike, which were wonderful days full of hacking, relaxing, brain-
 storming, and enjoying the magnificent nature of the Saxon Switzerland
 together. From the feedback we got from the attendees, it goes
 without saying that this should not stay a singular event, but
 rather be the prelude of a tradition. Hence, we have fixed the date
 for this year's Hack'n Hike:

   Begin: Wednesday, September 11
   End:   Monday, September 16

 We extended the duration of the event over that of last year's.
 Whether you'd like to drop by for just a few hours, or you'd like to
 stay for the whole time, you are welcome to join in. Genode Labs
 will sponsor the accommodation. So don't worry too much about the

 As of now, we haven't finalized the decision about the venue, but
 you can be sure that it will be a beautiful and romantic place,
 presumably in Saxony/Germany or Bohemian Switzerland in Czech
 Republic. If you have particular preferences regarding the
 accommodation or leisure-time activities, then the best time to get
 in touch with us is now. Also, if you plan attending, we'd greatly
 appreciate a short notice, which will help us with planning ahead.
 Please write to:


 We at Genode Labs are looking forward to the gathering of the Genode
 community in autumn and would love to welcome you!

 3. Genode as a hybrid simulation environment for hardware design

 For designing complex hardware systems, the approach of full-system
 simulation at register-transfer level is severely limited in terms
 of simulation performance. This limitation, in turn, makes the
 interaction of complex OS software running on top of such simulated
 hardware infeasible. Hybrid simulation environments promise to
 overcome this problem by reducing the level of detail for known-to-
 work parts of the system, and employing cycle-accurate simulation
 solely to those parts, the developer is focussing on.

 The extremely modular nature of the Genode OS Framework lends itself
 to the idea to leverage this modularity for realizing a hybrid
 simulation environment, in which individual device drivers of a
 complete Genode systems can be re-targeted from simulated hardware
 to a real device in a completely transparent manner. This powerful
 idea was picked up by Martin Stein for this Diploma thesis.

 In his (German language) work "Ausbau einer Umgebung für das Co-
 Design von Hardware und Software", he extends a microkernel-based
 emulation framework, introduced in an earlier student research
 project, to develop a new approach to hardware-software co-design.
 His solution facilitates the seamless integration of HDL designs
 into complex real-world software systems. It enables driver software
 to interact with individual HDL designs as well as HDL components to
 interact with each other. His thesis is available at:


 During his work on the simulation environment, Martin has almost
 single-handily implemented Genode's base-hw kernel platform, on
 which his simulation environment builds on. Now, after his
 successful defense of his work, we are excited to welcome Martin
 as member of the Genode Labs staff!

 About the newsletter

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 Best regards

 Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
 Genode Labs

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

 Genode Labs GmbH · Amtsgericht Dresden · HRB 28424 · Sitz Dresden
 Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

postal address:

  Genode Labs GmbH
  Dammweg 2
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