Columbia team wins best paper award at SOSP

SOSP, a premier systems conference, single track, held once every two years, has given the best paper award to

Cells: A Virtual Mobile Smartphone Architecture
by Jeremy Andrus, Christoffer Dall, Alex Van’t Hof, Oren Laadan, Jason Nieh

Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous, and many users carry multiple phones to accommodate work, personal, and geographic mobility needs. The authors created Cells, a virtualization architecture for enabling multiple virtual smartphones to run simultaneously on the same physical cellphone in an isolated, secure manner. Cells introduces a usage model of having one foreground virtual phone and multiple background virtual phones. This model enables a new device namespace mechanism and novel device proxies that integrate with lightweight operating system virtualization to multiplex phone hardware across multiple virtual phones while providing native hardware device performance. Cells virtual phone features include fully accelerated 3D graphics, complete power management features, and full telephony functionality with separately assignable telephone numbers and caller ID support. They have implemented a prototype of Cells that supports multiple Android virtual phones on the same phone. Their performance results demonstrate that Cells imposes only modest runtime and memory overhead, works seamlessly across multiple hardware devices including Google Nexus 1 and Nexus S phones, and transparently runs Android applications at native speed without any modifications.

Columbia University Department of Computer Science