Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Dec 2010 22:56 UTC, submitted by fran
Windows Very light on details, but this is interesting nonetheless - very interesting, and potentially one of the biggest things to have hit the operating systems business this decade. Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft plans to announce Windows for ARM processors at CES in January 2011.
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WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

No. Emulation is possible, but not virtualization. Consider virtualization to be "hardware-accelerated emulation", and x86 doesn't have any built-in hardware acceleration to emulate ARM. The virtualization you know is emulating x86 on x86, which *is* hardware-accelerated, for example using similar features that OSes normally use to control userland applications.

To nitpick, one could virtualize parts of the OS: like for example redirect calls to OS-specific libraries and system calls to actual ARM equivalents so that only the application code needs to be translated, not the whole OS. But that's different kind of virtualization, and while entirely possible it still wouldn't be in any way or form feasible on a mobile platform.

There actually exists a somewhat similar system for the N900; some people have one or another need to run an x86-specific application and use qemu to translate the application code on the fly but the application itself has access to the underlying OS, instead of the whole OS running inside qemu. The problem is that while it works, it's really slow and hogs CPU, thus hogging battery.

Just pointing these things out in case the OP is interested in knowing -- or someone else for that matter -- not to insult you or insinuate anything.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

No offense taken ;) In fact, running native-ported libraries with an emulated or software-translated application was new to me, although in hindsight it is obvious... another tool in my toolbox, should I ever need it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Look at qemu, it provides some support for that on the syscall level, bringing with it reasonable speed for many applications.

Automated thunking of libraries between architectures is much harder, because pesky issues like data structure alignment come into play then.

Reply Parent Score: 1