OKLabs hypervisor ported to Xilinx Zynq ARM-based SoC

November 01, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
General Dynamics Broadband, which bought software developer Open Kernel Labs in September, has ported the OKL4 hypervisor to the Xilinx Zynq 7000 family of ARM-based programmable SoCs.

The OKL4 'Microvisor' is an embedded virtualization platform for mobile security and automotive applications and the software development kit (SDK) for Zynq-7000 AP SoCs will provide defense-grade security for mission-critical software and sensitive data against destructive program code and other malware.
“Our ability to support the Xilinx Zynq-7000 family builds upon the successful use of the OKL4 Microvisor in the aerospace, defense and automotive markets,” said Steve Subar, vice president and general manager of Secure Mobility for General Dynamics Broadband. “Intelligent-device manufacturers can address compute-intensive applications as well as host modern operating systems including Linux, Android, RTOSes and others with the OKL4 Microvisor in a Zynq-7000 device."
The combination of hardware-enforced bare-metal (Type I) virtualization supported by the OKL4 Microvisor and multi-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors, programmable logic, and other features enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to take advantage of the flexible programming model of the Zynq-7000 AP SoC. Using the integrated programmable logic, developers can create “virtual” peripherals, perform high-frequency signal processing (e.g., for high-quality audio) and even implement logic for accelerating processing of critical tasks, to address new applications while lowering systems costs.
The OKL4 Microvisor SDK for Xilinx Zynq-7000 family products enables integration of diverse software stacks on a single processor, each in a distinct secure environment (OKL4 Microvisor “cells”), such as classified and unclassified information separation in high-assurance environments and isolation of safety-critical and consumer software in automotive applications. It also provides unique operating systems for system control and application hosting on a single SoC, with controlled access to both traditional peripherals and ones implemented using programmable logic as well as simultaneous hosting of multiple popular embedded operating systems, including Linux, Android, QNX, AUTOSAR and other embedded real-time systems, each executing in its own protected cel. Fine-grained and rigorous access control across cells allows the Microvisor to use processor hardware to enforce security policy, with secure sharing of display, audio, storage, networking and other peripherals implemented in