Industrial Automation

Embedded Solutions to drive the Digital Transformation

Industrial automation covers a whole range of technologies and manufacturing methods. Some of those change rapidly, others keep their current state. This can even be seen in small factories: Old, sturdy machines are standing beneath leading edge new laser cutters. This mixture is not really a problem, since the older machinery is typically reliable and replacing it with a modern version would cost the owner a fortune.

The software world is ticking in a way faster cycle and does not really match to existing infrastructures. In the past, the industry solved that problem by means of PLCs (programmable controller). It allows to keep a software installation that matches to the machine. In fact, the operating system and the middleware stays at the same version, while the user just programs the machine in a high level interpreter language, often with a graphical interface. This abstraction is very useful and keeps many business running for a very long time.

However, there are few issues related with that approach:

Industrial Controller Network

Safety norms are changing over the years. This can make the old software framework obsolete.


Older software and operating systems are bound to a certain hardware configuration often. Computer hardware is outdated quickly.

New Requirements in the Industry 4.0


Distributed systems depend on software being moved between software systems with different processor architecture. Today, the x86 processors are no longer dominating the market.


Smaller and cheaper control systems are needed to respond faster and in a more economical way to react on request from the market.


Industrial robots and humans are working side by side and modern Safety mechanisms are required to avoid injuries. These may comprise processors running in lockstep mode or any other measures known from the Automotive, Railway or even Avionics markets.


With factories running in 24/7 mode, high availability also has become an important issue. This also includes reconfiguration of existing software and hardware in very little time.

Our Solution: Resource and Time Partitioning

Many of these problems can be solved with combining virtualization to real-time controlling capability.

This is where PikeOS excels by its unique resource and time partitioning features.

Industrial Guest OS Virtualization

Keep your Legacy Code alive by means of Virtualization

PikeOS allows to execute your existing software within a virtual machine, called resource partition. It does not matter whether your application used to run on the bare metal or had been using an operating system. PikeOS can execute guest operating systems in para virtualization or hardware virtualization mode while still maintaining real-time capabilities. This makes you independent from discontinued hardware platforms.

Industrial Network Stack Linux

Add new Functionality (e.g. Network Stack) by means of a Linux Partition

In case your legacy software cannot be extended by a network stack, PikeOS allows to run your application parallel to a Linux system in a separate partition on the same hardware. Your application keeps the real-time capabilities and can still be certified according to the highest level. The Linux communication layer connect to the outside world and does not contribute to the functional Safety of the system. This is called mixed-criticality.

Industrial Communication Channels

Isolate Legacy Code (safe, but unsecure) from the Outside by means of dedicated Communication Channels

It often happens that existing software is required to be connected to the outside world. However, the code had been written with functional Safety in mind and does not withstand any Security evaluation. PikeOS enables you to setup a secure gateway with a firewall and an intrusion detection system. The legacy application communicates with the gateway via dedicated surveillance communication channels only.

Industrial Hardware Integration

Save Hardware Cost by Migration of multiple Boards into one System

PikeOS allows to execute multiple guest operating systems on the same hardware which significantly reduces the total cost of ownership.

Industrial Secure Cloud Edge Device

Industry 4.0, PLC and Edge / Cloud Computing

Here we show three solutions combining an IEC 61499-compliant PLC with cloud connectivity for common Security concerns in edge devices. 

Industrial High Availability Systems

High Availability Systems

High Availability (HA) is a property of Safety-critical systems in order to detect failures and recover from those, while still keeping the system’s main functionality active without interruption. In our whitepaper we examine the use cases and how these can be managed if the main core of the system’s computational capabilities is based on a separation kernel OS. 

Secure Factory Automation

The continuing technological advancement that is enabling decreasing costs and greater compactness of devices make it possible to connect and control more physical elements in the industrial environment today. This is enabling industrial engineers to monitor processes with greater accuracy and drive OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). At the same time separate operational technology (OT) systems are merging with enterprise IT infrastructure. However, this greater connectivity also brings more threats from malicious digital actors.

Industrial Smart Factory

Smart Factory: Connecting multiple Machines to fulfil Customer on Demand and Customization Request

Building a smart factory with multiple and heterogeneous machines requires connectivity, coordination, flexibility and re-configuration on the fly. Especially when customers are entitled to order customized goods. In extreme cases, there may be batches with only a single production cycle.

Industrial Operator Robot

Safety IEC 61508: Operator and Robot working Hand in Hand

In the past, industrial Safety used to avoid software issues  by means of an emergency buzzer. Nowadays, software is capable to monitor human-robot interaction with 3D cameras, enabling automatic collision/distance detection. In general, the trend is moving towards highly complex software which can get people killed or injured if something goes wrong. However, this requires certification up to the highest levels. Coming from the Avionics world, this is where PikeOS has its strengths.

Mining Excavator

PikeOS and Linux used in Mining Excavator

Bucyrus (today Caterpillar) chose PikeOS for IP protection, investment protection and obsolescence management. PikeOS was ported to a new hardware platform and configured to provide two different partitions, one running legacy code on a POSIX API, and the other running new applications on Linux. Software investments on the excavator product line are protected and complemented by Linux programs running within the Linux partition. Secure partitioning mechanisms ensure each application remains independent. Existing IP is protected in its own partition and cannot be accessed from Linux.

Read the Press Release

Customer & Partner Voices

Partner Voice

SYSGO’s PikeOS 5 expands capability of NXPs popular i.MX 8X family of applications processors for the high demands of critical embedded system infrastructure in industrial automation, automotive, railway and avionics.

Ron Martino
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Edge Processing Business, NXP Semiconductors

Customer Voice

For the Generation 6000, we decided to use ELinOS because SYSGO was not only able to provide the operating system and development environment, but also had extensive experience in embedded applications and, as a European manufacturer, was able to guarantee comprehensive local support throughout the entire development phase. Both ELinOS itself and the cooperation with SYSGO have proven to be excellent, so there was no reason to choose a different platform for the new generation.

Daniel Bettenworth
Product Owner at Miele

Partner Voice

SYSGO has been supporting ARM platforms for more than a decade with their ELinOS and PikeOS products. We welcome SYSGO’s commitment to support our Cortex-A15 processor as their technical leadership in safe and secure virtualization is highly complementary to our portfolio and offers a strong solution for our industrial customers.

Richard York
Vice President of Embedded CPU Marketing at ARM

Customer Voice

Many embedded systems customers require the highest level of reliability – often up to full certification according to major industry safety standards. The availability of PikeOS on the bCOM6-L1400 can help them create a solution that meets their needs for their safety-critical systems.

Tommy Swigart
Product Manager at GE Intelligent Platforms

Customer Voice

We decided to go that long term development path with SYSGO as they have many years of experience with Linux used in industrial equipments. We have been pleased by the competence and reliability of the SYSGO team who provided excellent engineering services as well as the usability of the ELinOS product.

Detlef Niehaus
Head of Electronic Component Development at Miele & Cie. KG

Partner Voice

The increasing importance of embedded Linux in the industry leads to the desire for reliable and competent partners. We have found such a partner in SYSGO. With the synergies resulting from the interaction of reliable hardware components and secure real-time software, our customers achieve a significant advantage in the development of embedded systems.

Peter Albert
Member of the ELTEC Board of Directors

Customer Voice

SYSGO has successfully served customers in markets as diverse as military and aerospace, industrial control, automotive and transportation, and consumer electronics. Its broad number of board support packages for embedded Linux — which is important for our customer base — eases the design cycle for developers. This integration with SYSGO and OIS products increases our ability to meet the demand for Linux in the embedded systems market in both Europe and the U.S.

Joe Jacob
Senior Vice President of Objective Interface Systems, Inc.

Industrial IoT & Industry 4.0

PikeOS is the best real-time IEC 61508 Safety certification solution.
And our Industrial-grade ELinOS development tool offers all you need: Compiler, linker and debugger.

More about PikeOS      More about ELinOS

Industrial Automation Certification Kit

Functional Safety

Many Industrial products have Safety requirements according to IEC 61508. PikeOS is the best certification solution for three reasons: small size, criticality partitioning, and unparalleled company support for the certification process.

The PikeOS partitioning concept makes it possible for applications of various levels of criticality to be certified for their individual required Safety levels while running securely in parallel on the same hardware platform. Even more important for certification is a competent and reliable partner who does not leave you in a tight spot when it comes to documentation, requirements and tests.

IEC 61508 Certification Kit

Common Criteria Certification Kit


The PikeOS separation kernel itself is small in terms of implementation and its little number of system calls allows comprehensive evaluation and validation. As a matter of fact, PikeOS 5.1.3 (x86 64-bit, ARMv8, PowerPC) has passed the Common Criteria EAL5+ certification.

More about Security   |   Common Criteria Certification Kit

Customer Benefits


Extreme Flexibility provides Independence from Suppliers in Hardware and Software Choice

PikeOS supports a broad range of hardware architectures and provides interfaces for a wide array of guest OSs. It is easy to add additional architectures and interfaces (including for legacy code) and therefore to manage hardware obsolescence.


Partitioning provides the Basis for a pragmatic Linux Strategy

PikeOS offers an integrated Linux guest operating system to include Linux or other open-source features like network, GUI or web server. Your own intellectual properties, real-time functions and safety-critical applications run in separate partitions.


Integrated Safety reduces Certification Cost

Applications of various levels of criticality and Security are safely separated from one another in distinct partitions and certified separately.


Customer Support

SYSGO supports its customers with own resources, engineers, workshops and trainings, as well as with artefacts and provision of source code.

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