What is Hypervisor technology about?
COQOS Hypervisor SDK enables the convergence of several functionalities on a single System-on-Chip (SoC) while providing freedom from interference between systems of different criticality (assigned to different ASIL levels such as QM, A, B,). The core technology of COQOS Hypervisor SDK is the hypervisor. The hypervisor makes it possible to run several guest Operating Systems (including Linux, Android, AUTOSAR or other operating systems) in separated virtual machines. A typical use case is the safe cockpit controller that runs an instrument cluster and an in-vehicle infotainment system simultaneously, on a single processor.
First hypervisor complying to the new version of ISO 26262
OpenSynergy has developed a hypervisor – the COQOS Hypervisor. This typ-1 hypervisor has been designed as a low-complexity embedded hypervisor especially fitting to automotive applications. It allows customers to build highly compartmentalized systems that can be tailored to the specific requirements. It follows the multi-kernel architecture of the ARMv8 architecture and takes advantage of the hardware virtualization of the SOC using this architecture.The safety properties strongly rely on a systems supervisor component. TÜV SÜD has confirmed that the hypervisor complies to ISO 26262:2018 ASIL-B.
The hypervisor runs directly on the SoC application cores (at the highest privilege level) and creates several virtual machines (VMs). Each VM is isolated from the others and this separation (ISO 26262 calls it “freedom from interference”) supports some of the key integration requirements. The hypervisor supports the controlled interaction between the VMs and devices on the SoC and communication between the VMs.
The COQOS Hypervisor targets the specific needs of automotive devices such as a cockpit controller. COQOS Hypervisor is highly configurable so that customers can for example
It is minimalistic in its design and therefore is small, fast and certifiable.
The latest version of COQOS Hypervisor SDK supports a large bundle of VIRTIO features. VIRTIO was originally developed for enterprise virtualization workloads and cloud computing that make high demands on data processing performance. With the increasing amount of data driven workloads in vehicles, OpenSynergy sees a perfect fit in VIRTIO for the automotive industry. VIRTIO devices enable OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to create maximum flexibility: guest operating systems can be used and re-used on different SoCs, including SoCs produced by different vendors. Also, software systems can be moved across different hypervisors without further modification. An example is the cockpit controller, in which the virtual platform enables several software systems to share the GPU power and the various displays available on different ECUs in the car. OpenSynergy drives the acceptance of VIRTIO as a standard to be used in the automotive industry.
Shared Display feature
OpenSynergy’s Shared Display Feature gives full flexibility and control how information is rendered on multiple displays in the vehicle.To satisfy the Cockpit Controller requirements, the reference architecture introduces two key technologies:
Shared GPU: It enables several VMs to use the GPU of the SoC concurrently. This sharing mechanism must support the required quality-of-service.
Shared display: It decouples virtual from physical displays. Applications in VMs can be rendered in virtual displays. A central compositor controls how these virtual displays are rendered on the physical displays available to the cockpit controller.
As information flows within one SoC (and not over networks), efficient communication mechanisms, such as “zero-copy” shared memory, can be used.
Developed as an SEooC and ISO 26262 compliant
To address the safety requirements, OpenSynergy has developed the COQOS Hypervisor as a Safety Element out of Context (SEooC) according to ISO 26262. The SEooC approach means that we have assumed certain safety requirements that our product fulfills. These safety requirements have been derived from our reference architecture for the cockpit controller. Based on these assumed safety requirements, we have designed, implemented and tested the COQOS Hypervisor following the practices required by ISO 26262 up to the level ASIL-B.
Providing scalability and flexibility
COQOS Hypervisor SDK can scale across various applications. It can run on compact micro-processors as well as high-performance multi-core processors. It can be used for small, simple systems with just a few virtual machines (VMs).
At the same time, it is also perfect for complex infotainment systems with several guest operating systems, each running in its own virtual machine.
Using hardware more efficiently
The assignment of VMs to cores in a multi-core processor is highly flexible. Several VMs can access one core, or, vice versa, one VM can tap into the computing power of several cores. Due to the minimalistic Type-1 Hypervisor, it takes maximal advantage of hardware virtualization extensions.
Includes the most advanced VIRTIO devices
Having separate VMs for isolated functions, COQOS Hypervisor SDK provides the benefit that functional disruptions cannot affect systems in other VMs. This architecture simplifies the challenge of high functional safety. The hypervisor is designed from the ground up for supporting applications with high requirements in terms of safety and security.
A configurable system supervisor (watchdog) in a separate VM can monitor the behavior of specific applications and intervene if the system does not respond properly. It has been developed according to Automotive SPICE.
Guest operating systems run independently of each other on the software VM in COQOS Hypervisor SDK. In this way, the partitioning functions as a firewall, offering protection from outside attacks. The lean Type 1hypervisor increases security because of the small attack surface.
Saving time and money
Using open source software makes it possible to reuse software systems from the field of consumer electronics. This reduces R&D costs and shortens the time required for development.
The COQOS hypervisor
Supported SoCs with essential features
TÜV SÜD certified COQOS Hypervisor to ISO 26262:2018 ASIL-B as Safety Element out of Context (SEooC).
OpenSynergy supports a wide range of virtualized devices and continuously contributes to standardization and open source. Current list of VIRTIO devices in the SDK:
Modular and managed boot
COQOS Hypervisor SDK supports the Arm PSCI specification, all mandatory PSCI calls and
those used by the Linux kernel.
Suspend-to-RAM orchestrates suspending into a low power consumption mode (= stop execution of OS and put execution state into RAM) of all guest VMs and the whole system (including devices). Reduces energy consumption and enables quick return to the state prior to suspension.
TrustZone allows secure functions e.g., hardware keymaster or playback of digitally protected content. TrustZone mediator allows the communication between VMs and ARM Trustzone. It guarantees secure access to TrustZone by multiple VMs and/or restricts access to TrustZone as per configuration. This feature will be availabe soon.
Android, Linux and RTOS
COQOS Hypervisor SDK supports the following guest OSs:
based on customer needs any OS that runs on the hardware can be supported.
COQOS configuration tooling generates the hypervisor configuration from a model described in XML.
Build and Integrate
OpenSynergy delivers COQOS Hypervisor SDK as a Yocto “meta-layer”. Yocto is a popular open source Yocto toolchain.
Test and Debug
COQOS Hypervisor SDK Trial for AGL reference platform
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Integrated Cockpit Controller on COQOS Hypervisor SDK
COQOS Hypervisor SDK: Suspend to RAM
COQOS Hypervisor SDK: Remote GPU
Webinar on Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO)
Webinar: Towards a common standard for device virtualization in the cockpit of the future