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modular framework

LYNX MOSA.ic is a software framework for building and integrating complex multi-core safety- or security-critical systems using independent application modules. Its elegant, modular architecture enables developers to collapse development cycles when creating, certifying, and deploying robust platforms for manned and autonomous systems.


Airbus Boeing Bosch Collins Denso Elekta L3 LM Nasa Rhode

Featured Quote


"LYNX MOSA.ic offers an exceptional technology for managing the complexity associated with multicores, reducing the design and certification time for safety-critical systems based on NXP Layerscape and QorlQ SoCs."

Geoff Waters
Senior Principal Engineer
Chairman, Multicore for Avionics Working Group



Architecture & overview

LYNX MOSA.ic is founded on the LynxSecure® separation kernel hypervisor and supports a variety of operating systems such as LynxOS-178®, Linux, Windows, third-party RTOSes (including competitor OSes) and bare metal applications such as Lynx Simple Applications (LSAs).

In contrast to traditional RTOS platforms—where hardware control, real-time scheduling, security, multimedia, and application runtime services are integrated into a common stack servicing all applications on all CPU cores—LYNX MOSA.ic allows system architects to subdivide systems into smaller, independent stacks which include only the dependencies required.




Architecture Comparison


Traditional approaches to building virtualized embedded software architectures that are robust and secure have placed much of the burden in a hypervisor and/or OS.

This can create platform dependencies which impact performance, as well as cause a number of architecture challenges due to:

  • Shared address space
  • Shared CPU privilege
  • Common arbitration points
  • Global resource pools
  • Compounding code branches
  • Compounding control flow timing
  • Large co-dependent code bases to certify


RTOS vs Separation kernel diagram




The more complexity that lies hidden between applications and hardware, the cloudier the path to system comprehensibility and robustness.

Reducing software stack dependencies and minimizing the hidden complexities between independent application modules and hardware yields exponential program value over the complete development lifecycle by:

  • Promoting traceable, comprehensible architectures
  • Giving evaluators the ability to truly validate security and safety properties
  • Reducing time to debug
  • Unlocking heterogeneous design options
  • Increasing the speed of system integration


Leverages hardware virtualization

LYNX MOSA.ic uniquely leverages virtualization-enabled multi-core processors to simplify software stack complexity and unlock rapid development and integration options. New hardware capabilities present new approaches for platform software to minimize stack complexity,overcome performance thresholds, and provide better application portability properties...


Built to be modular and open

LYNX MOSA.ic embodies the integrated business and technical DoD implementation strategy of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) defined in Title 10 U.S.Code § 2446a.—Requirement for modular open system approach in major defense acquisition programs. It enables system developers to build systems compositionally using open standards, relying heavily on the reuse of well-tested and certified components...


Designed for mission-critical systems

Supporting rich features while meeting quality standards impose intractable cost and schedule challenges under traditional platform designs, in which all hardware control, real-time scheduling, security, multimedia, and application runtime services are integrated into a common platform. In contrast, LYNX MOSA.ic provides open flexibility on a robust foundation, meeting the rich system functionality needs of systems deployed in high-threat environments...



Market-specific frameworks

The following development and integration frameworks combine various bare-metal, embedded Linux, 3rd-Party OS, and safety-certified RTOS components on a secure foundation. These frameworks include the software technologies best-suited to building robust systems for a broad array of end systems specific to each market.

LYNX MOSA.ic for Avionics


LYNX MOSA.ic for Industrial




LYNX MOSA.ic development workflow

The LYNX MOSA.ic development framework is designed to aid real-time system developers in realizing design goals on  complex hardware/software platforms. As such, the development workflow is distinct from traditional RTOS-based platform processes. The following section provides a brief overview of the LYNX MOSA.ic development workflow: 

LYNX MOSA.ic™ Development Workflow 

  • 0. Abstract design

    LYNX MOSA.ic anticipates that developers will have a design, whether it is an informal drawing of boxes and arrows on whiteboards and paper napkins, or formally modeled systems with design tools such as Simulink or SCADE. Architectural details that transcend functionality such as spatial, relational, and timing requirements of system subjects and objects can natively plug into the configuration interface of LYNX MOSA.ic. 

  • 1. Hardware discovery

    LYNX MOSA.ic includes hardware discovery tools to learn about the capabilities and capacities of the CPU, memory, and devices available for the target design. These details will be used to improve fidelity in controlling the execution behavior of the system.

  • 2. Concrete system model

    LYNX MOSA.ic can formalize the relationship of abstract design and physical hardware with a system modeling language and configuration tools that accounts for the system’s:

    ■ Abstract subject (virtual machine) and objects
    ■ Resource bindings to subjects and objects
    ■ Capability privileges of subjects
    ■ Full mesh information flow
    ■ Execution timing of subject

    When completed, this model will serve as input to a compiler that will create the necessary hardware parameters that will inform to processor to enforce a structural policy. The hardware parameters will confine a design with specific temporal and spatial boundaries in accordance to an expected behavior derived from the concrete system model. This model can also serve a record for system level verification and validation of safety and security processes.

  • 3. Subject/guest development

    For each subject defined within the concrete system model, a virtual space (static virtual machine) is reserved to host an executable image (guest) that must be built with the provided CDK or a third-party toolchain. The LYNX MOSA.ic CDK includes three distinct tool chains to build the following types of guest images:

    ■ LynxOS-178 RTOS
    ■ Buildroot Linux
    ■ Lynx Simple App (LSA) bare-metal application

  • 4. System integration

    The LYNX MOSA.ic tools include IPC libraries to connect guests and sophisticated linking tools to integrate boot images to manage project nuances like integrating third-party components, tailoring the low-level boot process, integration with hardware boot security features, etc. 

  • 5. Deployment

    Run integrated system images on production, development, and even virtual hardware platforms. For systems early in the development stage, an added benefit of the distributed architecture of Lynx MOSA.ic is the ability to debug independent subjects/guest of the system in parallel, as if each guest had their independent computer

  • 6. Fine tune

    LYNX MOSA.ic provides numerous fine-tuning options, such as reducing application complexities by porting RTOS dependencies to bare-metal, tracing resource allocation for hazard analysis, and tracking clock ticks for maximizing performance.


architecture comparisons & reference designs

(3D Views)

  • Traditional RTOS platforms

    Traditional RTOS platforms enforce a centralized, client-server OS model in which all applications are dependent on a single monolith composed of multiple layers of abstracted software complexity.

    Traditional RTOS stack


  • LYNX MOSA.ic

    LYNX MOSA.ic introduces a new perspective to application development that allows builders of embedded systems to minimize the complexity of runtime environments and target only the abstraction layers required. As opposed to writing applications against a proprietary set of APIs, LYNX MOSA.ic enables builders to design, build, and manage systems as heterogeneous compositions of independent application modules. The inherent modular nature of the design is apparent in this view.

    LYNX MOSA.ic™ modular architecture


  • Monolithic vs Modular design


    RTOS vs LYNX MOSA.ic™


  • Avionics reference designs

    Avionics Systems A B


  • Automotive reference designs

    Automotive Systems A B



3-Dimensional Architecture Comparison

Traditional RTOS platforms vs LYNX MOSAic



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