Secure virtualisation for NXP i.MX 8 and applications processors

24th October 2018
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Secure virtualisation for NXP i.MX 8 and applications processors

The availability of the INTEGRITY Multivisor secure virtualisation for the NXP Semiconductors i.MX 8 and 8X families of applications processors has been announced by Green Hills Software. Manufacturers of critical automotive and industrial systems can confidently run consumer operating systems in secure partitions alongside critical software applications on the same i.MX 8 processor.

This is thanks to the certified separation architecture of the INTEGRITY real time operating system and its Multivisor secure virtualisation technology.

With the freedom to consolidate Linux, Android and AUTOSAR with critical software on the same i.MX 8-based platform, manufacturers can design a scalable mixed-criticality platform from which to build solutions targeting low, mid and high-end feature sets. In addition, the consolidated platform reduces hardware costs and simplifies software complexity.

Global automotive carmakers and their Tier 1 suppliers in North America, Europe and Asia have reportedly already chosen INTEGRITY Multivisor secure virtualisation for tens of millions of vehicles requiring safe consolidation of Linux and Android environments with ASIL-certified applications such as digital instrument clusters, telematics and automated driving. The same secure virtualisation capabilities enable safe consolidation in industrial systems for combining consumer operating systems and their human machine interfaces (HMI) with critical applications certified to the industrial standard IEC 61508.

Ron Martino, Vice President, i.MX applications processors product line at NXP, stated: “Built with advanced media processing, secure domain partitioning and innovative vision processing, the i.MX 8 and 8X families of applications processors revolutionise multiple display automotive applications and graphics-rich industrial systems.

Green Hills Software’s mature and proven secure virtualisation services enable global carmakers and their suppliers to confidently partition Android and Linux environments from critical automotive tasks to help them realise quantitative competitive advantages on their production programs.”

INTEGRITY and INTEGRITY Multivisor are integrated with Green Hills Software's advanced ASIL D/SIL 4 qualified development tools featuring the industry-leading C/C++ compilers, MULTI integrated development environment, TimeMachine backward execution trace debugger, and MISRA C Adherence Checker.

As a result, software developers utilise advanced tools to extract maximum performance from the i.MX 8 processors and reduce the time and cost to debug and test their software and meet project deadlines. For example, the MULTI debugger provides the programmer a time-synchronised and unified view and control of the many execution levels in a consolidated Linux system: Linux applications, Linux kernel and drivers, real-time applications, real-time operating system kernel and virtual machine monitor.

In contrast, competing debuggers require a patchwork of different and disconnected debugging setups from several different vendors.

The INTEGRITY RTOS and Multivisor platform for NXP i.MX 8 and 8X families of applications processors includes support for:

  • Secure virtualisation and separation technology allowing ISO 26262 and IEC 61508-certified applications to coexist with general-purpose code or guest operating systems with freedom from interference. The platform can monitor the health of all applications and guest operating systems in real time.
  • Fully accelerated hardware virtualisation leveraging the Arm architecture virtualisation extension.
  • Highly configurable virtualisation platform allowing users to seamlessly configure peripheral routing and utilisation between INTEGRITY RTOS and any guest operating system, including the ability to safely share peripherals between critical tasks and general-purpose tasks or guest operating systems.
  • Fully accelerated 3D graphics utilising i.MX 8 graphics processing unit (GPU), including the capability to fully share the GPU between the host RTOS and multiple guest operating systems, all while ensuring the RTOS graphics applications have guaranteed priority for meeting functional safety requirements.
  • Complete AUTOSAR-compliant application framework, allowing existing AUTOSAR software components to be seamlessly and tightly integrated, providing for maximum software reuse without the need for virtualisation.
  • Advanced software development tools including the ISO 26262 ASIL D / IEC 61508 SIL 4 qualified MULTI IDE, optimising C/C++ compilers, MISRA C Adherence Checker and other integrated tools to improve code quality and lower development costs.

INTEGRITY and its comprehensive set of integrated software and hardware tools for the NXP i.MX 8 and 8X families are used by customers today. INTEGRITY Multivisor for the i.MX 8 and 8X is available today to early access customers and demonstrated at the NXP Technology Days event in Detroit and Arm TechCon in San Jose.


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