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VOSySmonitoRV, a Secure Monitor Layer for RISC-V Architecture Mixed-Critical Systems

best in class monitor layer for Risc-V mixed-criticality systems

With the emergence of powerful multi-core and heterogeneous integrated circuits, the integration of several applications, having different levels of criticality on the same hardware platform becomes a necessary consequence, where stringent requirements must be met in terms of real-time responsiveness, isolation of memories/peripherals, performance, safety and security.

Virtual Open Systems is a pioneer of certified mixed critical virtualization solutions with the VOSySmonitor product conceived for Arm processors. However, the RISC-V CPU architecture is today gaining momentum and quickly positioning in some use cases as a viable open source alternative to Arm CPUs. With its large community of developers, RISC-V is expected to mature up to find applicability in different market segments, starting in industrial, IoT domains and to expand later in automotive, communication, etc.

To serve RISC-V and its new mixed-criticality challenge, Virtual Open Systems has designed VOSySmonitoRV, a secure monitor firmware for RISC-V processors providing spatial and temporal isolation between multiple user applications.

VOSySmonitoRV enables multiple strictly isolated co-execution of RTOS, GPOS

VOSySmonitoRV provides mixed critical spatial and temporal isolation leveraging on RISC-V standardized hardware extensions such as Physical Memory Attributes (PMA), Physical Memory Protection (PMP), Platform Level Interrupt Controller (PLIC) and Core-Local Interrupt Controller (CLIC).

VOSySmonitoRV enables the co-execution of multiple software applications with different levels of criticality by ensuring the isolation between different OSes (e.g., safety critical Real Time Operating System and General Purpose OS), and ensure that strict safety and security constraints are met for each of them.

RISC-V mixed criticality solution VOSySmonitoRV

VOSySmonitoRV system overview

The principle of VOSySmonitoRV is to strongly partition physical resources (memory, peripherals, etc.) into multiple isolated zones, to provide a strong isolation for each of the executed operating systems; VOSySmonitoRV manages the context switching between the different OSes by triggering environment calls (e.g., ABI, SBI) or by hardware exception mechanisms. VOSySmonitoRV oversees system exceptions management in order to ensure a correct operation for each partition, prioritizing safety related scheduling and interrupts in order to meet real-time constraints.

VOSySmonitoRV, monitor layer main features

The key target features of VOSySmonitoRV are:

  • Mixed-criticality system consolidation on a single hardware platform
  • Fast context switch to meet real-time constraints
  • Safety features which preserve the Secure OSes in case of hardware failures
  • System monitoring to recover software/hardware failures
  • Native support for ISO26262 safety certification for automotive

Virtual Open Systems Contact

For any inquiry related to VOSySmonitoRV product and custom porting services you can contact us.