Hypervisor delivers security for multicore processors, enables Multi-OS consolidation

October 25, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Through its Embedded Software Division, Mentor Graphics has introduced an embedded hypervisor product for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, telematics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and instrumentation. The Mentor Embedded Hypervisor is a small footprint Type 1 hypervisor developed specifically for embedded applications and intelligent connected devices.

With the Mentor Embedded Hypervisor, developers can create high-performance systems that integrate and consolidate applications on multicore processors and make use of the ARM TrustZone. Development of new systems can be accelerated by reusing existing proprietary software and protecting intellectual property while incorporating Linux to leverage the open source ecosystem.

According to Mentor, the Hypervisor product gives Automotive OEMs and Tier Ones the ability to design systems that can combine Linux, AUTOSAR, real time, and bare-metal applications and sub systems on a single processor platform. The hypervisor supports the Yocto Project-compatible Mentor Embedded Linux as well as the GENIVI-compliant Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform, and will support Android, Mentor Volcano AUTOSAR software, and Nucleus RTOS. Mentor promised to track and enable the latest versions of technologies and standards including the Yocto Project and GENIVI.

Andree Zahir, head of infotainment and navigation engineering business for Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH and as such a potential customer to the new hypervisor, said that this software enables automotive suppliers to take advantage of upcoming multi-core SoCs and provide more functionality and connectivity in a single hardware unit while maintaining isolation and separation for critical functionality.

For applications requiring hardware-based partitioning of resources such as memory, crypto blocks, and keyboard/screens creating a completely separate secure operating environment, Mentor Embedded Hypervisor supports the ARM TrustZone. It features a flexible device model that supports virtualized device access and direct device access for performance-critical applications and provides various mechanisms for inter-guest communications.

The flexibility of the hypervisor's framework allows it to run on single-core or multi-core processor architectures supporting asymmetric multi-processing (AMP), symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), or a combination of both. The combination of the Mentor Embedded Hypervisor and latest SoCs from silicon vendors provides an integrated solution to speed development on these emerging hardware platforms.

By using the Mentor Embedded Hypervisor embedded systems, developers can:

  1. Reduce test and debug times by consolidating multiple functions on a single