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RTOS provides security for multi-core systems

Posted: 28 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory  partitions  symmetric multi-processing  multiple sub-systems 

eSOL has announced that its eT-Kernel Multi-Core Edition now offers a "Memory Partitioning Option" to protect memory across different cores and partitions while maintaining software reusability, system reliability, and design flexibility.

eT-Kernel Multi-Core Edition is based on the symmetric multi-processing (SMP) model, yet incorporates benefits of the asymmetric multi-processing (AMP) model to offer deterministic characteristics for real time embedded applications. The Memory Partitioning Option is best suited for automotive applications, aerospace instruments, high-end consumer electronics, and office automation products with memory management units (MMUs) to attain high reliability and high quality within the system.

Recent software and hardware advancements in multi-core technology have opened up new system design opportunities for integrating multiple sub-systems that run on separate processors. The problem with this approach is that each sub-system is growing bigger and becoming more complex, putting one reliable sub-system at risk from another corrupted sub-system sharing the memory space.

An alternative solution is paravirtualisation or hyper-visor to partition cores into different partitions and deploy different operating systems for each partition; however, this will unnecessarily reduce the flexibility of system design where multiple sub-systems need to work more closely together. Paravirtualisation also limits the effective reuse of existing software programs, especially those designed for an AMP environment.

The solution to these challenges is an operating system in which the scheduling domains are separate for AMP and SMP-type cores, and memory protection across different cores and partitions is in place. eSOL has pioneered its memory partitioning technology and incorporated it into its eT-Kernel Multi-Core Edition. It features software reuse and high reliability where a legacy single-core processor-based AMP system can be easily migrated to a multi-core processor system. The device drivers and other system software, such as middleware, can be reused as-is. eT-Kernel Multi-Core Edition Memory Partitioning will detect any violation of accessing another partition's local memory, greatly helping the development and assuring the quality of deployed systems.

Furthermore, the benefit of using a single OS extends to development tools. eSOL provides the eBinder integrated development environment for eT-Kernel, consisting of a compiler, configuration tools, shell, debugger, and analysis tools. The same set of tools supports both single-core and multi-core processors.

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