New operating system will improve Navy computing power


An engineering professor at Virginia Tech, Dr. Binoy Ravindran, has designed a operating system that could revolutionize how military and commercial computing systems perform. With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Linux an operating system called Popcorn compiles different programming languages into a single cyber tongue. That involves designating specialized heterogeneous processors to carry out specific tasks, like displaying graphics or web browsing. Each processor devoted to one specialty, rather divided among several functions, resulting in much better, faster performance.

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By applying Popcorn Linux to longtime. We can improve software without requiring thousands of man-hours to rewrite millions of lines of code said Dr. Wen Masters, head of ONR’s C4ISR Department. This could yield significant savings in maintenance costs.

Crunching huge amounts of data for complex applications like battlespace awareness and artificial intelligence requires extremely powerful processing. Unfortunately, many processors capable of speak own specialized software programming languages and must be programmed to interact with each other. But this specialization has problems a language barrier. Moreover, Each processor has its own set of instructions that only it understands.  Software developers must manually adjust code. To determine which tasks should run on which processors a tedious process. Extra features and updates are added regularly.

In addition, to increase computing speed, microchip manufacturers in recent years have placed multiple processing units on individual chips. For example consider iPhone 7, which has four processors two high-power and two low-power. Simultaneously dial phone numbers, open web pages, check text messages and take photos and videos.

Popcorn Linux automatically figures out pieces of the programming code to perform particular tasks

This is especially true for Navy and Marine Corps software systems, said Ravindran. Many of these legacy systems were built in the 1970s. Earlier, have numerous security patches and millions of lines of code, and represent a huge investment of time and money. Navy developers enjoy the benefits of next-generation heterogeneous processors without rewriting applications from scratch.

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Popcorn Linux, used with any computer or device. Serves as a translation tool taking generic coding language and translating it into multiple specialized program languages. Moreover, Popcorn Linux automatically figures out pieces of the programming code needed to perform particular tasks. Transfers these instruction “kernels” to the appropriate function.

Popcorn Linux still proof-of-concept prototype created by Ravindran and students, the system is about to enter a new phase of development. “In our lab and academic setting, we’ve demonstrated that Popcorn Linux works well with respect to performance speed and power usage,” said Ravindran. “Later this year, we’ll work with industry partners to create a version of Popcorn Linux that can meet the strenuous industrial standards required by the Navy and Marine Corps.”