Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reliable Safety-Critical Software At Design West 2013

From:  AltEmbedded 

COMMENT -  Any system is only as secure as its weakest part.  Green Hills Software, Inc., is, itself, a critically flawed system because of the demonstrated, and documented behavior of Dan O'Dowd and the corporate structure which leaves all decisions related to how his technology is used in his own hands.  

There is no divide between 'personal,' and 'business,' which has been demonstrated over and over again in other contexts, with other highly successful financially motivated enterprises.  

I, personally, would be curious to see where the ideas and initial technologies for this vast array of products originated.  Several of them I read about, associated with entirely different individuals, who for various reasons, failed as they neared success.  It bears a curious similarity to the well-known strategy followed by Dan (Drone Boy) O'Dowd's hero, Bill Gates.  

Bill also was well known for using litigation as a business tool.

Design West 2013 is not quite out the chute yet. Tech sessions have been in full swing but the tradeshow floor will not open until tomorrow. In the meantime I talked with a number of vendors before to check out the latest software that will be on display. This includes a mobile version of Green Hill Software’s Integrity RTOS, LDRA’s latest support for standards like DO-178 and McObject’s news embedded RDBMS.
This collection highlights the variety of offerings at the show but only skims the surface on what is available. I had an earlier look at CMX’s compact RTOS (see Small RTOS Drives Cortex-M3/M4). There is more to come when I get a chance to write about it later this week.
Themes like virtualization and clustering are common. Safety and security are themes that look to be moving out from environments like avionics where they are required to industrial and enterprise and even consumer applications areas as demonstrated by Green Hills Software’s mobile version of its Integrity RTOS.

Secure RTOS Targets Mobile Devices

Green Hills Software is well known for its Integrity RTOS. It is used in application areas from DO-178 avionic systems to secure enterprise applications to safety-critical medical applications. The latest incarnation looks to bring improvements in safety and reliability features to mobile devices.
The Integrity Multivisor for Trusted Mobile Devices is now in its fourth incarnation. It a Type 1 hypervisor built on a certified, secure separation kernel. It can now handle ARM VE virtualization extensions. Its virtualization support now includes the latest Android Jelly Bean versions. One of the tricks Green Hills can deliver is 3D hardware acceleration shared between isolated Android instantiations.
The latest version also supports multicore SMP and secure boot. Security has always been part of Green Hill’s offerings. This also includes VPN hypervisor support, Green Hills Software’s FIPS 140-2 and NSA Suite B cryptographic library support, and support for the latest Virtual Self-Encrypting Drives (vSED). The vSED support allows for hypervisor-protected user authentication and data-at-rest protection.
Of course, the system would not be complete without a collection of virtualized and securely shared I/O drivers. Green Hills supports Bluetooth and USB devices including sensors and GPS devices. It has Wi-Fi and cellular voice and dta support. There is audio and hardware-accelerated graphics with touch screen and buttons support.

Streamlining Compliance Management

Certification of avionics projects is a requirement. It is not an easy one to meet and the enumerable artifacts and procedures are necessary. LDRA’s Compliance Management System (LCMS) is designed to provide part of the infrastructure necessary for companies to deliver projects that are compliant with standards like:
  • Aircraft & Systems Development (ARP-4754A)
  • Safety Assessment (ARP-4761)
  • Integrated Modular Avionics (DO-297)
  • Flight Electronic Hardware (DO-254)
  • Flight Software (DO-178B/C)
  • Ground Systems (DO-278/A)
LCMS services can be provided by a local server or via the cloud. The LCMS Cloud provides an economical option for companies that can host their data off site.
The LCMS provides life cycle tools like descriptive process checklists (Fig. 1), fully compliant plans, and problem reports. These are configured to assist customers in managing certification planning, development, verification, and regulatory activities. MORE

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