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Automation system can run two operating systems at same time

11 September, 2017

B&R has released software for its automation systems that allows Windows or Linux to run alongside the company’s own real-time operating system. This allows users to combine control and HMI applications on one PC, for example, or to have an industrial PC double as both a real-time controller and an edge controller that sends pre-processed data to higher-level systems and the cloud via OPC UA.

The “hypervisor” software provides a virtual network connection that allows applications to exchange data between operating systems. As with a conventional Ethernet interface, this is done using standard network protocols. Instead of a cable, there is a reserved memory area that is not assigned to either operating system.

Users configure the hypervisor and allocate hardware resources in B&R’s Automation Studio development environment. The configurations are defined separately for each system, providing flexibility as to how the resources are used. Unlike previous parallelisation systems which have been tailored to specific versions of Windows, the new hypervisor is independent of the operating systems being used.

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