Secure platform for automotive consolidation on Freescale i.MX 6 processors

July 07, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Offering a trusted execution and development environment for secure and safe consolidation of ADAS, infotainment, instrument cluster and telematics, Green Hills Software has extended its INTEGRITY automotive consolidation platform to the Freescale i.MX 6 series Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (SABRE) for automotive infotainment board.

This, says GHS, gives carmakers and their suppliers another processor choice on which to safely and securely consolidate multi-domain cockpit software – digital instrument cluster, entertainment, navigation, driver assistance – into smaller, simpler and less costly configurations. Green Hills has demonstrated a Linux guest OS running a GPU-accelerated infotainment system and a fast-boot digital instrument cluster with GPU-accelerated graphics, both running with guaranteed freedom of interference on the INTEGRITY RTOS and Multivisor on a single i.MX 6 SABRE for automotive infotainment board.

“Designers of next-generation automotive cockpits see promise in consolidating safety-critical software modules alongside one or more open operating system-based modules on powerful processors such as the i.MX 6 application processor,” said Dan Loop, automotive business development manager of Freescale i.MX applications processors. “A global roster of mutual customers has already deployed digital instrument clusters built with the i.MX 6 series and INTEGRITY and we look forward to helping customers manage their software complexity with these expanded consolidation capabilities offered by the Green Hills INTEGRITY Multivisor solution coupled with hardware separation capabilities offered by the i.MX family of applications processors.”

Consumer operating systems such as Linux/Android bring open source flexibility, rich middleware frameworks, while safety and security-certified RTOSes are needed to run “mission-critical” applications requiring fast-boot, high-reliability and safety/security. This mushrooming collection of multiple domains of CPU-hungry software systems, each with different levels of criticality, have traditionally required their own processor, screens, cabling and enclosures behind the dashboard.

Combining these subsystems with fewer, powerful processors is a natural step but requires a software platform that guarantees the software functions remain isolated while achieving the necessary performance, connectivity and safety levels. The INTEGRITY RTOS and Multivisor technology, adds GHS, provide this trusted execution environment in a range of environments – industrial, PoS, enterprise, mobile – on all major embedded processor architectures, including Power Architecture and ARM with or without Virtualisation Extension (ARM VE).

The i.MX 6 SABRE for automotive infotainment targets infotainment, instrument cluster, telematics and rear seat entertainment designs. Based on ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores in single-, dual- and quad-core offerings, it supports a wide range of automotive-specific connectivity and multimedia peripherals.