Framework eases software pain points

1st March 2019
Mick Elliott

Lynx MOSA.ic, a software development framework from Lynx Software Technologies for building modular, comprehensible software systems. It adds a new perspective to application development that simplifies the creation, certification, and maintenance of inherently complex software systems, giving developers deeper insight and increased control over how applications are realised onto modern CPUs.

Will Keegan, Chief Technology Officer, Lynx Software Technologies, commented, “The majority of the pain points faced in software-based systems stem from overly complex platforms rooted in porous foundational architecture. As a platform vendor it is non-trivial to maintain robust assurances while accommodating the relentless demands of new features, hardware compatibility, and legacy interoperability. Lynx MOSA.ic has been carefully crafted at the architecture level to adapt to changes while preserving fundamental assurance properties—a balance elegantly achieved through maintaining the absolute minimum amount of abstraction layers.”

“Across the industry, Armv-8A architecture virtualisation features are crucial in enabling software development for safety and security-critical systems for applications including autonomous and connected vehicles,” said Robert Day, Director, Automotive Solutions & Platforms, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm. “Arm is expanding developer support by collaborating with leaders like Lynx to reduce costs, complexity and development time by forging a robust and comprehensible software platform based on Arm processors.”

Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC is one of the first platforms to be supported on MOSA.ic. Simon George, Director, Marketing - System Software and SoC Solutions at Xilinx, added, “The combination of LynxSecure and the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC gives developers in safety-critical industries the ability to build solutions that meet their exacting demands. Lynx MOSA.ic is an advance in helping these developers create, certify and maintain the highly complex systems they are designing using our newest technology."

In the traditional, operating system (OS)-based model of application development, applications must rely on OS APIs for transferring and storing data, forcing applications to inherit the architecture properties of their underlying OS.

Assuming multiple layers of abstraction beginning at the application level, developers have had little alternative but to embrace higher levels of resulting system complexity, keeping overall system comprehensibility out of reach.

It is tremendously difficult to manage and maintain such complex systems, as unintended system behaviours — rooted in those same hidden layers of complexity — lead to critical safety failures and security breaches.

Lynx MOSA.icleverages CPU virtualisation to offer a simpler distributed resource control model in place of the traditional OS-based central resource management model; removing as much complexity as possible between application interfaces and hardware.

Founded on a configurable framework for partitioning hardware, Lynx MOSA.ic begins by decentralising resource management and application services, allowing independent applications to manage their own resources.

Developers are then provided with cross development kits for building application modules of varying size, quality, and complexity, as well as integration tools for linking in partner and competitor provided modules — modules which can then be precisely mapped to independently managed hardware resources.

By relinquishing central control over the CPU, Lynx MOSA.ic opens the path to comprehensibility and unlocks unprecedented modular integration capabilities for the rapid development of robust systems.

Lynx MOSA.ic delivers on the vision of theModular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). It allows developers to integrate independent software components within its development framework — including previously compiled legacy components and components authored by competing vendors — bringing the concept of MOSA to the command line

The foundation of Lynx MOSA.ic is a programmable processor partitioning system based on the proven LynxSecure separation kernel hypervisor.

Unlike traditional hypervisors — which uniformly manage host virtual machines (VMs) through a centralised resource manager — LynxSecure isolates computing resources into independent distributed environments which are uniquely capable of managing themselves while providing software development tools for building guests at just the right complexity levels demanded by specific target environments.

Forgoing the traditionally inherited complexities of a centralized resource management model, Lynx MOSA.ic unlocks multi-core virtualisation as a viable option for managing the costs and design challenges faced when building robust software systems within highly regulated embedded markets.

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