Open Kernel Labs to Conduct Embedded Systems Research with $2.5M Grant

Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs), a global provider of embedded systems software and virtualization technology, announced that it has won a grant under AusIndustry’s competitive “Commercial Ready” program, which awards funds to enterprises that demonstrate the highest potential for innovation and its commercialization. The funds will be used to initiate a research, development and commercialization project centered on a technology transfer agreement with Australian research lab NICTA. The US$5 million program, currently underway, is jointly funded by Commercial Ready grant from AusIndustry and by OK Labs.

This investment will support research, prototyping and early stage commercialization, which will add unprecedented capabilities to OK Labs’ Secure HyperCell[tm] technology. Work under the grant will include the complete formal verification of the OKL4 microkernel and support enhancements to OKL4 that enable better-designed and more secure software for mobile devices and consumer electronics. The outcome will be a platform uniquely able to support resource-constrained, security- and safety-critical embedded devices.

“This project will result in an industry first — a full mathematical proof of the correctness of the implementation of a complete operating system kernel,” said Gernot Heiser, co-founder and chief technology officer at OK Labs. “This will provide an unrivalled level of trustworthiness for devices built on our Secure HyperCell technology, enabling our customers to develop affordable systems that achieve levels of security and safety not possible with competing technologies.”

Secure HyperCell technology provides a secure environment for operating systems, applications and drivers on mobile devices.

Formal verification of software provides the ultimate assurance of correctness, guaranteeing the absence of defects that could lead to failure and security exploits. It goes well beyond security assurance requirements, such as those outlined by Common Criteria, even at its highest evaluation level.

“OK Labs has a level of access to world-class research normally only enjoyed by large multi-national corporations. Our exclusive relationship with the University of New South Wales and NICTA allows us to take embedded operating systems technology to the next level,” said Heiser. “This partnership shortens the path from ground-breaking research to commercial deployment.”

More details regarding the development and commercialization from the project and its integration with OKL4 will be announced at a later date.

About Open Kernel Labs
The Open Kernel Labs leading technology in embedded systems software and virtualization enables the development of safe, trustworthy and affordable devices. Backed by the largest independent team of microkernel developers, OK Labs delivers OKL4, an advanced microkernel solution, which offers the highest performance combined with strong protection and security features. OKL4 provides developers with a robust, open source platform for building secure, differentiated embedded applications. OK Labs is a spin out from NICTA, Australia’s preeminent Center of Excellence for Information and Communications Technology, www.nicta.com.au.

Open Kernel Labs, OK Labs and Secure HyperCell are trademarks or registered trademarks of Open Kernel Labs or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries.