Cortex-A9-module with GHS' Integrity RTOS support

November 25, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
TQ Group's TQMa6x, based on the i.MX6 processor from Freescale, can now be operated together with the Integrity real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software. The TQ minimodule and the Integrity RTOS are suited for applications in which a high degree of safety is required.

The combination of reliable hardware from TQ with the Integrity real-time operating system from Green Hills Software forms a solid basis for applications with safety requirements up to SIL 4. Even if adjustments are made for customer projects, this BSP is a good basis for future developments.

All external usable signals of the CPU are available on the TQMa6x module via three cable connectors (2 x 160 + 1 x 40 pins) on a 0.8 mm grid. Peripherals integrated on the module suit it for a variety of application, specifically those taking advantage of virtualisation. Scalable ARM Cortex-A9 core(s) offer a variable clock speed of up to 4 x 1 GHz. Working memory with up to 2 GBytes DDR3L and up to 128 MBytes SPI NOR Flash, as well as up to 16 GB eMMC Flash for program and data, is implemented on the TQMa6x. The design is completed by an EEPROM, an RTC and a real-time clock battery buffered from the main board.

Designed to meet the highest requirements regarding safety and reliability, Integrity RTOS is certified to IEC 61508 SIL 3 and EN 50128 SWSIL 4, and is an operating system with a hard real-time, high performance, partitioned architecture with guaranteed resource availability and advanced multicore support. The Integrity RTOS provides safe separation between applications and guarantees non-interference between applications. Applications can be run with multiple levels of safety on the same processor, or separate certifiable components from non-certifiable components to minimise certification cost.

With the Integrity RTOS supporting the TQMa6x, the module can be used for conventional control purposes and is suited to applications with a high safety requirement.

The Integrity RTOS's secure partitioning provides protection from external attacks without degradation of the real-time performance or processor capacity. Green Hills Software has also pre-integrated a range of middleware, which saves the developers valuable time and money in project implementation and is supported by the MULTI integrated development