QNX Secures Multi-Core Processor Partitions

QNX Software Systems, the industry leader in multi-core processing for embedded systems, announced a new OS partitioning solution for multi-core systems that offers the ultimate in system security and guaranteed realtime performance. The new QNX(R) Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors offers the world’s first and only secure memory and CPU partitioning capability for multi-core systems.

Partitioning schemes of today are limited to uniprocessor designs. Because current implementations do not offer a holistic view of multiple cores, developers who wish to protect their systems from untrusted applications or rogue attacks must attempt to partition each core separately, usually by proliferating multiple copies of the OS on each core.

QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors takes the current restrictive concepts of software partitioning and dramatically changes the rules. Embedded developers using multi-core hardware can apply secure partitions in their designs to guarantee realtime response times and contain threats, while simultaneously maximizing resource usage and performance.

QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors offers designers the flexibility to either lock down a set of applications in fixed partitions or optimize CPU utilization through adaptive partitions. In fact, a multi-core design can employ the two techniques simultaneously, depending on the prioritization of each function. QNX partitioning technology guarantees CPU time for applications when the system is heavily loaded. It can also dynamically reassign unused resources from partitions not under full load to those that need additional processing time, providing a higher level of performance by increasing CPU utilization. This approach is far more efficient than traditional partitioning solutions, which waste memory and CPU cycles through their rigid and fixed resource allocations.

When combined with QNX’s multiprocessing solutions, secure partitions can be implemented in a variety of configurations for a multi-core design. For instance, by using QNX’s unique Bound Multiprocessing (BMP) option, designers can “bind” selected applications to a specified set of CPU cores, creating a true hardware and software partitioning capability.

QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors not only addresses the need for secure operation and realtime performance, but can also speed system design by allowing engineers to preallocate guaranteed system resources for subsystems added later in the design cycle.

To maximize ease-of-use and application portability, QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors and the QNX Neutrino(R) microkernel RTOS use industry-standard POSIX APIs, allowing embedded developers to employ the exact same task-prioritization schemes that they use today. QNX Neutrino offers other inherent security benefits, such as isolating drivers, protocol stacks, and applications in separate, memory-protected virtual address spaces. As a result, malicious or poorly written software cannot corrupt, disrupt, or spy on other processes.

QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors is commercially available now, with memory-partitioning capabilities to be available for beta trials in August 2007.

About QNX Software Systems
QNX Software Systems, a Harman International company (NYSE: HAR), is the industry leader in realtime, embedded OS technology. The component-based architectures of the QNX(R) Neutrino(R) RTOS and QNX Momentics(R) development suite together provide the industry’s most reliable and scalable framework for building innovative, high-performance embedded systems. Global leaders such as Cisco, DaimlerChrysler, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens depend on QNX technology for network routers, medical instruments, vehicle telematics units, security and defense systems, industrial robotics, and other mission- or life-critical applications. Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and distributes products in over 100 countries worldwide.

QNX, Momentics, and Neutrino are trademarks of QNX Software Systems GmbH & Co. KG, registered in certain jurisdictions and are used under license.