Episode 88: The Singularity Research OS with Galen Hunt
In this episode we talk to Galen Hunt
about the Singularity
research OS. Galen is the head of Microsoft's OS Research Group
and, together with a team of about 30 other researches, has built Singularity.
We started our discussion by covering the basics of Singularity: why it was designed, what the goals of the project are as well as some of the architectural foundations of Singularity: software isolated processes, contract-based channels and manifest-based programs. In this context we also looked at the role of the Spec# and Sing# programming languages and the role of static analysis tools to statically verify important properties of a singularity application.
We then looked a little bit more closely at the role of the kernel and how it is different from kernels in traditional OSes.
In a second part of the discussion we looked at some of the experiments the group did based on the OS. These include compile-time reflection, using hardware protection domains, heterogenerous multiprocessing as well as the typed assembly language
We closed the conversation with a look at some of the performance characteristics of Singularity, compatibility with traditional operating systems and a brief look at how the findings from Singularity influence product development at Microsoft.