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Performance Evaluation of Para-virtualization on Modern Mobile Phone Platform

Authors: Yang Xu, Felix Bruns, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Shadi Traboulsi, Klaus Mott, Attila Bilgic


Emergence of smartphones brings to live the concept of converged devices with the availability of web amenities. Such trend also challenges the mobile devices manufactures and service providers in many aspects, such as security on mobile phones, complex and long time design flow, as well as higher development cost. Among these aspects, security on mobile phones is getting more and more attention. Microkernel based virtualization technology will play a critical role in addressing these challenges and meeting mobile market needs and preferences, since virtualization provides essential isolation for security reasons and it allows multiple operating systems to run on one processor accelerating development and cutting development cost. However, virtualization benefits do not come for free. As an additional software layer, it adds some inevitable virtualization overhead to the system, which may decrease the system performance. In this paper we evaluate and analyze the virtualization performance cost of L4 microkernel based virtualization on a competitive mobile phone by comparing the L4Linux, a para-virtualized Linux on top of L4 microkernel, with the native Linux performance using lmbench and a set of typical mobile phone applications.

Keywords: L4 microkernel, virtualization overhead, mobilephone

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