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zir_blazer



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 66
zir_blazer
I have recently hear that AMD 890FX Chipset was going to have a IOMMU. I have researched a bit, and found this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iommu

Quote:
With virtualization, guest operating systems can use hardware that is not specifically made for virtualization. Higher performance hardware such as graphics cards use DMA to access memory directly; in a virtual environment all the memory addresses are remapped by the virtual machine software, which causes DMA devices to fail. The IOMMU handles this remapping, allowing for the native device drivers to be used in a guest operating system.


I'm extremely interesed in this because it could mean that an OS could fully use the Hardware in a virtualized platform, specifically the Video Card.
I always considered that using an HyperVisor like Xen to sit Linux and Windows OS over it would be a great way to forget about Dual Booting, plus the fact that you would be able to use the OSes simultaneously. Chances are that I would have done it for just experimental and bragging rights purposes, if it wasn't because for a normal user it got a very big drawback: You can not use the GPU with it. This means that you can forget about playing games on a virtualized Windows, but the IOMMU could resolve this.

Do any of the FASM users know anything about HyperVisors, the IOMMU, and anything about this matter? Anyone ever attemped to make an HyperVisor in Assembler or whatever that could make this topic get in depth knowledge and research?
Post 28 Apr 2010, 03:59
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Me and Feryno have both written hypervisor, but AFAIK we both used Intel virtualization, not AMD
Post 28 Apr 2010, 07:51
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zir_blazer



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 66
zir_blazer
vid wrote:
Me and Feryno have both written hypervisor, but AFAIK we both used Intel virtualization, not AMD

Two words: PORT IT! Very Happy



Seems that there is no need for the IOMMU. Xen seems to support Video Card passthrough according to its documentation

http://www.xen.org/support/tutorial.html

I have the slight sensation that no one really cares about this type of things though. It may add an entire complexity layer to the Software platform, but I consider that by running on top of an HyperVisor, you could get many advantages. Imagine cloning a Virtual Machine for backup purposes using the HyperVisor, and other things that could be simpler, easier and more flawless by doing it from outside the OS but within the computer.
Post 28 Apr 2010, 09:22
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