Virtualization Architecture for Secure Systems
Engineers creating the next generation of embedded devices are faced with
the challenge of controlling power, footprint, and bill of materials while
meeting demand for more capabilities, delivered faster and with higher reliability.
Any organization that can achieve these goals while reducing risks will gain
significant advantages over the competition.
In response to these growing challenges, designers are increasingly turning to system virtualization—a technology that revolutionizes product development. Virtualization consolidates disparate systems onto dedicated virtual machines, running on a single hardware platform. In addition, the hardware abstraction afforded by virtualization enables rapid migration to new hardware, freeing developers to focus on differentiating features and functionality.
Based on the market leading high reliability operating system, INTEGRITY® Multivisor delivers on this promise.
Deployed since 2003, INTEGRITY Multivisor is the industry’s most powerful, reliable, and flexible embedded virtualization solution.
As shown in the figure at right, the platform can host arbitrary guest operating systems alongside a comprehensive suite of real-time applications and middleware. Applications and guest operating systems are flexibly scheduled across one or multiple cores, can communicate efficiently with each other, and utilize system peripherals according to a strict access control model.
A robust and portable virtualization infrastructure must have flexible enough architecture to handle the wide variety of hardware capabilities available across microprocessors. INTEGRITY Multivisor maximizes the use of available hardware virtualization facilities while minimizing modifications to guest operating systems.
On hypervisor acceleration-enabled processors such as Intel VT, Freescale QorIQ P40xx, and ARM TrustZone, INTEGRITY Multivisor supports high performance "full virtualization" where no changes to the guest operating system are needed.
On processors lacking hypervisor mode assistance, INTEGRITY Multivisor applies carefully crafted, minimally intrusive modifications to the guest operating system to maximize performance without sacrificing ease of migration and portability.
INTEGRITY Multivisor provides flexible and powerful mechanisms for managing cores. The Multivisor can statically bind guest operating systems to cores, in an Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP) model, or dynamically schedule workloads in a Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) model, depending on system requirements.
INTEGRITY Multivisor offers a number of compelling benefits:
- Lowering production costs through hardware consolidation
- Faster time-to-market by removing the pain of porting operating systems to new hardware
- Eliminating the need to port existing applications to new operating systems
- Longer time-in-market by reusing legacy operating systems and software
- Higher product pricing power due to increased features in smaller form factors
- Flexibility to run arbitrary, unmodified guest operating systems, including Windows, Linux, VxWorks, and Android
- Ability to combine hard real-time and/or reliability-critical processing with guest operating system functionality
- A greener product, enabled by hardware consolidation and hypervisor power management
- Built on the world’s only Common Criteria EAL6+ High Robustness-certified operating system technology—for absolute security, total reliability, and maximum availability
- Products and expert engineering support from a trusted, independent virtualization supplier that you can partner with for the long term
- Safe communication between the virtual guest operating system(s) and the trusted real-time critical application
Organizations trust INTEGRITY technology in systems with the most demanding reliability requirements:
- NSA-certified secure mobile phones and PDAs
- FAA DO-178B Level A-certified avionics controlling passenger and military jets
- FDA Class III life-critical medical devices
- IEC-61508 SIL3-certified industrial control systems
- Automotive, consumer, networking, and many other reliability-critical systems
Many hypervisors bundle the software required to support guest environments,
such as device drivers and middleware, in a monolithic architecture. The results
look much like a general purpose operating system, with unknown exposure and
many vulnerabilities. Numerous guest operating system "escapes" and
other subversions have been discovered in other hypervisors, such as Xen and
VMware. The INTEGRITY Secure Virtualization architecture relies on a trustworthy
security kernel to provide domain isolation, and is certified to protect against
even the most sophisticated attacks.
- Guest operating systems: supports running multiple instances of Linux, Windows, Solaris, VxWorks and other operating systems
- Devices and peripherals: allows devices and peripherals to be exclusively assigned or shared between virtual environments and applications
- Managed communications: provides for managed inter-process communications (IPC) between virtual environments and applications
- Configurability: provisioning of system resources, including memory and devices, can be fixed at build- time or dynamically adjusted at run-time
- Health Monitoring: provides features for performance monitoring, fault detection, and guest operating system and application restart
- Software Development Kit (SDK): award-winning, MULTI® integrated development environment, addressing the needs of sophisticated software developers for more than 15 years
INTEGRITY Multivisor for TrustZone consists of the certified INTEGRITY operating system technology coupled with facilities to execute one or more "guest" operating systems on TrustZone-enabled ARM cores which are incorporated in SoCs such as the TI OMAP and Freescale i.MX. INTEGRITY Multivisor also provides a communications interface for the normal zone to request services of the secure zone. This architecture enables security and reliability-critical applications to safely execute with guaranteed memory, CPU time resources, and device access control, regardless of what is happening in the normal zone.
INTEGRITY uses its proven resource management and protection capabilities and the ARM memory management unit (MMU) to compartmentalize the secure zone into "metazones." This further reduces time to certification for specialized applications, such as key management and other financial transaction components, which must share the secure zone with other critical components.
INTEGRITY Multivisor enables engineers to innovate in ways not otherwise possible. The following market examples come directly from Green Hills Software’s customer base:
Telecom blade consolidation
- Execute control plane operating systems (e.g. Linux) alongside real-time data plane processing on a single SoC
- Take maximum advantage of next-generation multicore network processors from ARM, Freescale, and Intel
- Host audio and video as real-time applications to ensure instant-on, continually reliable performance
- Consolidate head unit and rear-seat entertainment (Windows) systems to reduce automotive cost and footprint
- Allow Internet connection without risk of corruption to critical applications
Electronic flight bag
- Replaces pilot’s pen and paper with PC functionality for calculating take-off parameters and validating navigational charts
- Enable virtualized Windows Office applications while guaranteeing validation and programming of cockpit avionics using safety-critical native applications on the same portable PC
Intelligent weapons systems
- Netbook form factor with sophisticated Linux graphical interface
- Real-time applications provide trusted display of weapons state (securely multiplexed with Linux GUI) as well as safety-critical munitions programming