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Monday, August 21, 2017

Bare metal hypervisor is key to Security 3.0 for AI

By Nick Flaherty

Tokyo-based software developer Seltech has started demonstrations of its hypervisor-based security system for the Internet of Things.

Bare metal hypervisors are increasingly key to the next generation of security for IoT and AI systems, which the company calls Security 3.0, as it starts development of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for IoT sensors and licenses its technology to third parties.

It has developed FOXvisor which supports a range of operating systems on ARM, MIPS and Intel processor cores to provide low level security. This lightweight hypervisor uses less than 1% of the CPU cycles and has a small kernel of just 32Kbytes, reducing the threat envelope. No OS modification is needed and there are no kernel dependencies. 

This bare metal hypervisor is at a lower level than other virtualisation or real time operating system implementations, although many RTOS suppliers now offer such kernels and these are gaining traction in IoT designs.
“As the market swiftly shifts to IoT and AI, we are entering into an environment in which security issues must constantly be handled properly,” said Shoi Egawa, CEO. “Seltech is a strong advocate of Security 3.0, and we shall continue to have a heavy focus on the necessity and importance of IoT security, ensuring that IoT/AI cannot be taken over.”

Back in November Seltech signed a partnership deal with Seattle-based Sequitur Labs to cooperate on developing and deploying security technology for embedded systems and Internet of Things

As part of the agreement, Sequitur will integrate CoreTEE—a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for devices built on ARM Cortex-A—with FOXvisor. This initially supports NXP/Qualcomm’s i.MX6 SoC, including the quad core SABRE platform targeted at automotive entertainment, as well as the other i.MX SoCs. Additionally, the two companies will also collaborate on market development activities and custom solution development.

CoreTEE already supports TrustZone implementations on a number of Cortex-A platforms including Microchip’s SMART | A5D2 and A5D4, NXP’s QorIQ LS1 family, as well as i.MX6 and i.MX7 platforms. “Our agreement with Seltech draws on complementary capabilities of each company,” said Philip Attfield, CEO of Sequitur Labs. “Combining our solutions with FOXvisor allows any device maker to quickly implement a scalable security strategy.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Sequitur Labs who support the CoreTEE solution on to the Starter Kit. Seltech will address secure application development for automotive, industrial automation, medical, POS, and home automation applications," said Egawa. "CoreTEE will compliment Seltech's OS independent FOXvisor and help system integrators to build secure system applications."


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