While everyone seems to be quite focused on high-end virtualisation, there is also room for virtualisation solutions at the low-end. One way of approaching this problem is by the use of a thin layer of virtualisation at the nano-kernel level. Instead of just abstracting hardware away, it is also possible to put in entirely virtual hardware devices for embedded applications. This allows things like I/O peripherals to be abstracted and run entirely as pure software only.

The AENIX kernel will sport such virtualisation solutions instead of just being a regular nano-kernel. It will support the use of soft-peripherals or virtual-peripherals to lower the cost of implementing complex System-on-Chips (SoC). As an example, a typical ethernet core is much larger than a regular RISC processor core. However, it would be possible to virtualise the entire MAC layer into software, which simplifies the hardware tremendously resulting in a cost savings of half the original. In addition, it is possible to build a virtual video device to transmit video frames over ethernet, which will further virtualise hardware and change the way that computing is done on the SoC.

That is the main thrust of the AENIX kernel. Instead of merely abstracting the sharing of hardware resources away, it will also feature abstract hardware that does not really exist.

This opens an exciting dimension in the realm of communications.