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Architecture of SYSGO's PikeOS
DeveloperSYSGO GmbH
OS familyL4
Working stateCurrent
Source modelClosed source
Latest release5.1 / May 2021; 2 years ago (2021-05)
Marketing targetEmbedded systems
Available inEnglish
PlatformsARM, PowerPC, x86, SPARC
Kernel typeMicrokernel, real-time
Official websitewww.sysgo.com/pikeos Edit this at Wikidata

PikeOS is a commercial, hard real-time operating system (RTOS) that offers a separation kernel based hypervisor with multiple logical partition types for many other operating systems (OS), each called a GuestOS, and applications. It enables users to build certifiable smart devices for the Internet of things (IoT) according to the high quality, safety and security standards of different industries. For safety and security, critical real-time applications on controller-based systems without memory management unit (MMU) but with memory protection unit (MPU) PikeOS for MPU is available.


PikeOS was introduced in 2005 and combines a real-time operating system (RTOS) with a virtualization platform and Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for embedded systems. It is a commercial clone of L4 microkernel family.[1] PikeOS has been developed for safety and security-critical applications with certification needs in the fields of aerospace, defense, automotive, transport, industrial automation, medical, network infrastructures, and consumer electronics. The PikeOS separation kernel (v5.1.3) is certified against Common Criteria at EAL5+.

A key feature of PikeOS is an ability to safely execute applications with different safety and security levels concurrently on the same computing platform. This is done by strict spatial and temporal segregation of these applications via software partitions. A software partition can be seen as a container with pre-allocated privileges that can have access to memory, central processing unit (CPU) time, input/output (I/O), and a predefined list of OS services. With PikeOS, the term application refers to an executable linked against the PikeOS application programming interface (API) library and running as a process inside a partition. The nature of the PikeOS application programming interface (API) allows applications to range from simple control loops up to full paravirtualized guest operating systems like Linux or hardware virtualized guests.

Example for resource and time partitioning

Software partitions are also called virtual machines (VMs), because it is possible to implement a complete guest operating system inside a partition which executes independently from other partitions and thus can address use cases with mixed criticality. PikeOS can be seen as a Type-1 hypervisor.

Supported toolchain, IDE CODEO[edit]

The Eclipse-based IDE CODEO supports system architects with graphical configuration tools, providing all the components that software engineers will need to develop embedded applications, as well as including comprehensive wizards to help embedded project development in a time-saving and cost-efficient way:

  • Guided configuration
  • Remote debugging (down to the hardware instruction level)
  • Target monitoring
  • Remote application software deployment
  • Timing analysis

Several dedicated graphical editing views are supporting the system integrator to always keep the overview on important aspects of the PikeOS system configuration showing partition types, scheduling, communication channels, shared memory and IO device configuration within partitions.

Projects can be easily defined with the help of reusable templates and distributed to the development groups. Users can configure predefined components for their project and can also define and add other components during the development process.

Key benefits[edit]

  • Real-time operating system including Type-1 hypervisor defined for highly flexible configuration
  • Supports fast or secure booting times
  • Supporting mixed criticality via separation kernel in one system
  • Configuration of partitions with time and hardware resources
  • Kernel driver and user space drivers supported
  • Hardware independence between processor types and families
  • Easy migration processes and high portability on single- and multi-core
  • Developed to support certification according to multiple safety & security standards
  • Reduced time to market via standard development and verification tools
  • Wide range of supported GuestOS types: APIs
  • No export restriction: European solution

Certification standards[edit]

Safety certification standards according to:

Security certification standards according to:

Partner ecosystem[edit]

SYSGO is committed to establish the technology and business partnerships that will help software engineers to achieve their goals. As of October 2017, SYSGO is working with about 100 partners globally.[2]

An excerpt of partners per category is mentioned below:

  • Board vendors: Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Kontron, MEN or ABACO
  • Silicon vendors: NXP, Renesas, Texas Instruments (TI), Xilinx, Infineon, NVidia or Intel
  • Software partners: CoreAVI, wolfSSL, Aicas, AdaCore, Esterel, Apex.AI, RTI, PrismTech, Datalight, Systerel, Imagination Technologies or RAPITA
  • Tool partners: Lauterbach, Vector Software, Rapita, iSYSTEM
  • Supported architectures: ARM, PowerPC, x86, or SPARC (on request)

Supported GuestOS types[edit]

End-of-life overview[edit]

Product type Product version Linked ELinOS version Release EOL
PikeOS 3.4 (non cert) 5.2 2013-07 Since 2017-12
PikeOS 3.4 (cert) 5.2 2013-07 LTS on x86
PikeOS 3.5 6.0, 6.1 2015-01 Since 2017-12
PikeOS 4.0 6.0, 6.1 2016-03 Since 2019-06
PikeOS 4.1 6.1 2016-08 Since 2021-04
PikeOS 4.2 (non cert) 6.2 2017-01 Candidate
PikeOS 4.2 (cert) 6.2 2017-04 Current
PikeOS 5.0 (non cert) 7.0, 7.1 2020-06 Current
PikeOS 5.0 (cert) 7.0, 7.1 2020-08 Current
PikeOS 5.1 (non cert) 7.1 2021-01 Current
PikeOS 5.1 (cert) 7.1 2021-02 Current


  1. ^ R Kaiser and S Wagner, "Evolution of the PikeOS microkernel", MIKES 2007, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  2. ^ "Partner Directory". SYSGO. Archived from the original on 2 November 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2017.

External links[edit]