FOXvisor - Virtualization Solution in Secure Automotive Systems: Page 5 of 6

August 16, 2017 //By Joachim Hüggenberg, ViMOS Technologies
FOXvisor - Virtualization Solution in Secure Automotive Systems
Secure small footprint hypervisor makes most efficient use of CPU horsepower

FOXvisor was already developed and verified in 2012, and soon ported to automotive and other systems. Business alliances with major CPU, GPU, and DSP manufacturers were contracted. This guarantees achievements by entrusted development for brand manufactures.

A hypervisor allows the co-existence of Rich OS & RTOS. Time critical and often security or safety critical applications are recognized as such and run prioritized to the Rich OS applications.


Automotive Use Cases

Automotive use cases for FOXvisor include instant start-up applications for in-vehicle devices like back cameras, music play, and even the company logo on the infotainment display or on controls and instruments. It operates instant start-up applications that cannot be implemented by snapshot on Rich OS, as if they are Rich OS applications, while leaving them on the existing RTOS. For example, the map and audio applications during start-up run on the RTOS. The underlying process is that hypervisor blends the RTOS applications with Rich OS applications on to the Rich OS, to make them look like Rich OS applications (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Hypervisor blends RTOS applications with Rich OS applications
on Rich OS to make them look like Rich OS applications

While both examples showed the importance of running RTOS applications without being affected by influences from the Rich OS, Figure 4 shows a security aspect in the use of a hypervisor system. Portable navigation systems, for example, infected by a virus and shipped to the after markets, and even software or firmware updates to in-car systems, are a major threat for infection, through which attacks on a vehicle’s control system could be executed. Virus infection, hacking, remote control of devices or functions that connect to navigation in the vehicle may result in serious accidents, which is easy to virtualize if, for example, driver safety devices such as the breaker, handle and meter get invaded. Security can be ensured by introduction of a secure domain, through means of encryption keys, CAN bus controlled updating, and the personal information management is handled.

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