microkernel

(redirected from microkernels)

microkernel

(operating system)
An approach to operating system design emphasising small modules that implement the basic features of the system kernel and can be flexibly configured.

microkernel

(1) The foundation part of an operating system that is designed for the hardware it runs in. The other components of the OS interact with the microkernel in a message-based relationship and do not have to be rewritten if the OS is ported to new hardware. Only the hardware-dependent microkernel must be reprogrammed. Contrast with monolithic kernel. See kernel.

(2) A small control program designed to perform a limited set of functions in one hardware platform.
References in periodicals archive ?
Microkernels are maturing to the point where industry collaboration on microkernel and server interfaces is needed.
June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Chorus Systems, the leader in commercial microkernel operating system technology, announced today the Cray Research Inc.
The CHORUS microkernel is well-suited to our platforms' high performance architectural characteristics, and the serverization model in CHORUS/MiX matches our requirement for integrating our distributed platforms as a single system.
Chorus' microkernel technology provides a single operating system base that supports a wide range of memory architectures.
It will also show many people that microkernels are widely used in important commercial environments, where both reliability and high performance are essential.
EPL Release of Microkernel Demonstrates Progress Towards Open Source Goal
LONDON -- The Symbian Foundation today announced a significant milestone in its plan to move the entire Symbian platform into open source: the release of the platform microkernel (EKA2) and supporting development kit under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).
The release of the microkernel demonstrates three vital, guiding principles of the foundation: first, the commitment of many community members to the development of the platform - in this case, Accenture, ARM, Nokia and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) all made contributions; second, progress in fulfilling our commitment to a complete open source release of Symbian; and third, a tangible example of providing the most advanced mobile platform in the world," said Lee Williams, Executive Director, Symbian Foundation.
That was because microkernels usually required two context switches for each module that was called by the microkernel.
In addition, traditional microkernels tended to be larger in overall memory footprint due to the additional memory, stack, process, and data overhead.
Beginning with its minimal 28-Kbyte microkernel foundation, Lynx allows customers to simply add "Kernel Plug-Ins" (KPIs) using the company's new web-based browser configuration tool.
Using the patented LynxOS technology, KPIs and the Web-based configuration tool, users can build solutions from the minimal microkernel up to a full-featured and networked UNIX compatible, POSIX conforming system.