Mobile virtualization

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Mobile virtualization is hardware virtualization on a mobile phone or connected wireless device. It enables multiple operating systems or virtual machines to run simultaneously on a mobile phone or connected wireless device. It uses a hypervisor to create secure separation between the underlying hardware and the software that runs on top of it; this can be considered a form of an embedded hypervisor, or a close analogue. Virtualization technology has been used widely for many years in other fields such as data servers (storage virtualization) and personal computers (desktop virtualization).


Low cost platform[edit]

In 2008, the mobile industry became interested in using the benefits of virtualization technology for cell phones and other devices like tablets, netbooks and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules.[1] With mobile virtualization, mobile devices can be manufactured more cheaply through the re-use of software and hardware, which shortens development time. One such example is using mobile virtualization to create low-cost Android smartphones without a separate baseband processor by running the applications and the baseband processor code in separate virtual machines on a single processor.[2] Semiconductor vendors such as ST-Ericsson have adopted mobile virtualization as part of their low-cost Android platform strategy.[3]


Another use case for mobile virtualization is in the enterprise market. Today, many consumers carry two mobile phones: one for business use and another for personal use. With mobile virtualization, mobile phones can support multiple domains/operating systems on the same hardware, so that the enterprise IT department can securely manage one domain (in a virtual machine), and the mobile operator can separately manage the other domain (in a virtual machine).[4]

In September 2010, ARM announced[5] that it would support a virtualization extension in its ARM Cortex-A15 processor.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Virtualization Goes Mobile", Bloomberg BusinessWeek - April 22, 2008, retrieved 2008-04-22 
  2. ^ "Low cost Android: crossing the $100 barrier", VisionMobile Blog - February 7, 2010, retrieved 2010-02-07 
  3. ^ "VirtualLogix VLX Virtualization Software Selected by ST-Ericsson for Low-Cost Android-Ready Smartphone Platform", TMCnet - February 18, 2010, retrieved 2010-02-18 
  4. ^ "VMware foresees mobile virtualization in 2010", Cnet News - May 21, 2009, retrieved 2009-05-21 
  5. ^ "ARM Unveils Cortex-A15 MPCore Processor to Dramatically Accelerate Capabilities of Mobile, Consumer and Infrastructure Applications", ARM News Release - September 8, 2010, retrieved 2010-09-08 
  6. ^ "Cortex-A15 Processor". ARM Holdings. 

External links[edit]