22 min read

Challenges Building Safe Multicore Systems

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Jun 15, 2020 8:12:09 AM

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At the time of writing, no multicore safety critical software systems exist. That is, no system that utilizes a multi-core processor to execute multiple applications in parallel has been certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US or by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As such, safety critical avionics systems are missing out on the advances in compute performance, power consumption, and miniaturization enjoyed by laptop, smartphone, and internet users worldwide.

Topics: Multicore Safety TC-16/51 CAST-32A Certification MCP embedded systems hardware development hardware interference software certifications DO-178
19 min read

What Is A Separation Kernel?

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Mar 22, 2020 12:02:33 PM

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Having built both separation kernels and real-time operating systems—and supported customers using both across a wide range of industries—we are familiar with the pros and cons of each software technology, as well as their security, safety, reliability, and adaptability impact on complex system designs. Yet despite providing strong security and safety benefits and being the foundation of some of the world’s largest mission-critical systems, separation kernels remain largely unknown and poorly understood. In this article, we hope to:

  1. Bring some clarity to the topic of separation kernels vs. real-time operating systems (RTOSes) and embedded hypervisors
  2. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using a separation kernel as the software foundation of your embedded systems design
  3. Introduce LynxSecure®, our own separation kernel
Topics: Safety Certification MCP Least Privilege Systems Architecture Security Trusted Codebase architecture linux rtos embedded systems hardware vulnerabilities development real-time LynxSecure separation kernel hypervisors virtualization
3 min read

Field Notes: Safety-Critical Systems Symposium 2020

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Feb 24, 2020 12:34:50 PM

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Topics: Multi-core Avionics Demo Cache-partitioning Lynx MOSA.ic™ Events FAA Safety TC-16/51 CAST-32A Certification MCP Systems Architecture Cache Allocation Technology embedded systems hardware development Technical Blog Standards
4 min read

TC-16/51: Adding Bottom Up Interference Analysis for MCPs

By Mark Brown | Systems Architect on Jan 28, 2020 2:20:00 PM

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I hadn't heard of "bottom up" avionics certification before I read FAA's TC-16/51.  But now, looking back at it, I think the authors from Thales Avionics, including Xavier Jean, PhD, proposed a big change in perspective.  In their own words, here's their proposal to add "bottom up" analysis to aircraft safety certifications on Multi-Core Processors (MCP):

Topics: Multi-core Avionics FAA Safety TC-16/51 CAST-32A Certification MCP Systems Architecture rtos embedded systems partitioning hardware development real-time Technical Blog
5 min read

Lynx & ENSCO Demonstrate Avionics Solutions at DSEI JAPAN 2019

By Dan Westerberg | Senior Systems Engineer on Nov 18, 2019 2:29:00 PM

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The most formidable challenges of modern avionics development programs are often centered around the safety certification process and the corresponding requirements and costs. Equally as challenging to any large development program are the design and implementation phases where the software application comes to life as it is realized on the target system environment. These phases can be compromised by:

Topics: Multi-core Avionics Demo Lynx MOSA.ic™ FAA Safety Certification MCP Systems Architecture embedded systems development real-time
9 min read

Embedded Best Practices at Arm Tech-con

By James Deutch | Principal Field Applications Engineer on Oct 17, 2019 2:13:00 PM

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Lynx participated in this year’s Arm TechCon with a booth in the expo hall, where we demoed Lynx MOSA.ic and its components — LynxSecure®, Buildroot Linux, LynxOS-178®, and Lynx Simple Applications (which are bare-metal apps).  It was great to see people walk down the hallways and stop in the aisle to examine the Automotive demo and Industrial demos.

The concepts behind the demos apply across multiple industries and use cases; we simply chose to highlight these concepts in the context of these two markets for the purpose of putting together the demos.  For more information on the Automotive demo, you can read Chris Barlow's blog post.  Below you can see a close-up of the architectural graphic shown on the notebook’s screen:

Topics: Demo Multicore Safety MCP Least Privilege Systems Architecture Arm Tech Con Security Trusted Codebase embedded systems partitioning privilege escalation development real-time Technical Blog
16 min read

How to Choose a Real-Time Operating System

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Oct 14, 2019 10:32:00 AM

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Choosing an RTOS is not as simple as choosing a car.  We know about cars; we know their strengths and weaknesses and we intuitively understand compromises like performance vs practicality or luxury vs price.  We see all kinds of vehicles on the road, so the range of available cars is obvious. When choosing an RTOS, the middle ground is crowded—dozens of general-purpose RTOSes with broadly similar characteristics compete.  They all have a scheduler, services, libraries, middleware, technical support, and graphical tools. Any one of them could genuinely do a good job and so choosing between them is a mixture of quantitative metrics (like features and price) and qualitative measures (like past-experience, personal-preference, and reputation). 

Topics: Multi-core Avionics Lynx MOSA.ic™ Multicore Safety MCP Systems Architecture Security linux embedded linux rtos embedded systems development real-time
6 min read

Realizing modern Automotive Software Environments

By Chris Barlow | Technical Product Manager on Oct 9, 2019 2:17:00 PM

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The complexity of today’s automobiles is increasing with every new model on the market.  A modern car can contain hundreds of electronic control units and with connectivity and autonomy becoming commonplace, this is increasing dramatically as we enter the 2020s.  Many of these systems up until a few years ago have safely run on microcontrollers on an unsecured vehicle network, and this has been fine; the networks were ‘air-gapped’ from the rest of the world, and the risk of a malicious attacker causing any kind of danger to a car’s occupants by directly plugging in a new device was as likely as someone cutting the brake lines.  The automotive industry on the whole were happy with this risk.

Topics: Multi-core Demo Lynx MOSA.ic™ Safety Certification MCP Systems Architecture rtos embedded systems partitioning development real-time Technical Blog Automotive
5 min read

What is SR-IOV and Why is It Important for embedded devices?

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Oct 7, 2019 2:09:00 PM

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Topics: Multi-core Demo Safety MCP Systems Architecture embedded systems hardware development Single-root IO Virtualization SR-IOV PCI-E
12 min read

What is the Cost of a Board Support Package?

By Tim Loveless | Principal Solutions Architect on Oct 1, 2019 10:35:00 AM

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Topics: Multicore Certification MCP embedded systems TCO hardware development BSPs board support costs