Internet of Things (IoT) applications are taking over more and more tasks in transportation, industrial and medical market segments. Developers are facing the challenge of building safe, efficient and future-proof IoT applications, while trying to satisfy increasing complexity in requirements in a shortened time-to-market and at a lower cost. Thanks to Green Hills Software’s mature, production-proven tools and real-time operating systems (RTOS), in conjunction with the range of new RISC-V IPs becoming available, these requirements can now be satisfied.
In this blog post, you will learn how our Mi-V ecosystem partner Green Hill’s tools will help you build optimized, safe, secure, future-proof solutions for your IoT edge devices. The first part will discuss the main challenges coming along when building low-latency, secure edge devices and how they are linked to the demand for a new instruction set architecture (ISA). The second part will elaborate on how our PolarFire® System on Chip (SoC) field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and Green Hills Software’s solutions will help tackle these challenges.
The increased application of IoT internet-connected devices raises several concerns. Firstly, the amount of data that needs to be transported across networks increases exponentially. This results in more complex and vulnerable network infrastructures, along with higher maintenance costs and a decrease in security. Secondly, IoT devices are increasingly used in safety-critical applications, which affect the design requirements for both hardware and software. For example, if an industrial robot senses the need to stop the execution, it is critical that this sensor data is handled in a real-time deterministic manner. This is where edge computing comes in handy: data can be processed on the IoT edge device itself. This results in less data being transported across a network and enables local real-time application execution. However, this architecture comes along with a mixed range of requirements in terms of safety, security and performance for each edge device.
Over the last few years, semiconductor vendors have struggled to satisfy the increasing need for performance and efficiency with sheer transistor count. While developers have gotten used to the transistor density of a processor doubling every two years over the last five decades, in the years to come, alternative means of performance increase need to be developed. Thus, rising demand for safe, secure and power-efficient IoT edge processing is happening.
Unlike many proprietary IPs, RISC-V provides hardware support for the construction of a trusted execution environment by design. In other words, RISC-V enables hardware-enforced isolation within a processor. By design, this requires a safe and secure operating system. Green Hills offers the perfect solution: its µ-velOSity and INTEGRITY real-time operating systems allow developers to design safe and secure systems supporting the relevant safety requirements for IEC 61508, ISO 26262, and EN 50128/50657. Its safety-certified Green Hills C/C++ compiler can build safety-certified binaries on RISC-V, and the developers of Green Hills MULTI IDE, which provides powerful debugging and profiling functionalities, have all the tools they need.
Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA is an ideal hardware platform to design a power efficient, secure and reliable IoT application. With its multi-core RISC-V CPU subsystem, low-power FPGA fabric and high-speed transceivers, PolarFire SoC FPGA enables a variety of applications ranging from low-power IoT to high data processing systems. The FPGA fabric enables users to extend the features of the processing subsystem by adding multiple soft IPs enabling hardware acceleration and custom interfaces. Customized IPs can enable improved performance-per-watt efficiency while providing the safety and security required in edge devices.
Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA along with Green Hills Software’s production-proven safety and security certified software solutions allow users to create high-performance, superior, safe and secure IoT systems.
Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA together with Green Hills software solutions offer a safe, secure and future proof environment that can cover the demanding needs posed by edge computing applications for years to come. RISC-V International, the organisation behind RISC-V, expects the market share of the open-source ISA to rise up to 10% by 2025 in the automotive industry, while reaching 33% in IoT applications during the same period (c.f. Where is RISC-V Going? – Calista Redmond, CEO, RISC-V International). If you are building innovative applications based on RISC-V, please contact Green Hills Software at www.ghs.com.
For more information on Green Hills software solutions available for Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA, please visit – https://vimeo.com/719917551 and https://www.ghs.com/news/20201209_risc-v_rtos_support.html. and https://www.ghs.com/products/RISC-V_development.html.