Secure virtualisation hypervisor for embedded MCUs

15th January 2021
Alex Lynn

Green Hills Software has announced the release of µ-visor, its safe and secure embedded virtualisation hypervisor, for the Renesas RH850/U2A microcontroller (MCU). Designed to support the emerging automotive cybersecurity requirements of ISO/SAE 21434 and UNECE WP.29 and to meet ISO 26262 ASIL D functional safety.

µ-visor joins the proven, broadly deployed INTEGRITY Multivisor virtualisation for application processors already used in tens of millions of commercial vehicles worldwide.

µ-visor is the basis for safe and secure consolidation of multiple MCU-based systems onto a single multicore RH850/U2A design, enabling savings in cost, size, and power for the resulting consolidated system, while at the same time simplifying the safety design of the system. By employing the advanced hardware-based assisted virtualisation capabilities of Renesas’ RH850/U2A, µ-visor allows multiple virtual machines to run simultaneously, supporting a variety of scheduling and core management strategies to meet various automotive uses cases and to ensure extremely low overhead.

The Green Hills MULTI integrated development environment (IDE) and related ISO 26262 ASIL D-certified tools provide developers with tightly integrated tools that deliver unprecedented visibility into system performance and runtime behaviour, enabling rapid integration and optimisation of multiple workloads onto a single RH850/U2A MCU.

µ-visor can host a variety of operating systems, including AUTOSAR environments from third-party vendors, Green Hills Software’s own µ-velOSity operating system, customer in-house operating systems, or micro-executive designs, giving customers a great deal of flexibility on how to design consolidation for their automotive controller use cases, including support for ECU safety islands.

The Renesas RH850/U2A is an MCU with embedded flash that integrates a hardware-based virtualisation-assisted function while maintaining the fast, real-time performance that customers expect of the RH850 products. The hardware virtualisation function supports ISO 26262 ASIL D functional safety, enabling greater levels of system integration of the safety applications of automotive OEMs and Tier 1s into a single, unified MCU-based electronic control unit (ECU).

To support ASIL D, the hardware-based virtualisation technology allows customers to implement multiple software services with different functional safety levels on the RH850/U2A MCU that can run concurrently without interference while maintaining the hard real-time deterministic performance required to control modern and future vehicle functions. µ-visor from Green Hills Software fully supports all of these advanced capabilities.

“Renesas and Green Hills have been working together for decades to provide the best functional safety solutions for Renesas MCUs for our mutual customers,” said Naoki Yoshida, Vice President of Automotive Digital Products Marketing Division at Renesas. “Renesas RH850/U2A’s hardware-based virtualisation assisted technology and Green Hills Software’s extensive experience with virtualisation and Renesas’ products is a natural combination. We’ve worked together to address our customers’ most challenging consolidation requirements, and µ-visor enables the full utilisation of the advanced capabilities of our latest MCUs.”

“Green Hills Software’s virtualisation technology for application processors is already in production in tens of millions of vehicles today,” added Matthew Slager, Vice President of Asia-Pacific Operations at Green Hills Software. “By extending our virtualisation technology expertise and experience into the MCU market with µ-visor and working with Renesas, Green Hills Software can offer best-in-class performance, functional safety and cybersecurity on the RH850/U2A, allowing automotive customers to achieve the challenging goals of developing and deploying highly performant and entirely safe and secure ECU consolidation.”

µ-visor for the Renesas RH850/U2A MCU is available today.

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