The Linux Foundation launched ELISA a project for highly reliable systems

The use of standalone machines deployed in critical security scenariossuch as industrial robots or driverless cars, egraises a trust issue about the hardware itself.

To address these concerns, the Linux Foundation launched the program launched a new ELISA project (Linux enablement in security application), intended to use Linux in solutions that require higher reliability (systems critical for safety), whose failure can threaten people's lives, damage the environment or lead to serious damage to equipment.

The founders of the new project are Arm, BMW, KUKA, Linutronix and Toyota.

Kate Stewart, senior manager of strategic programs of the Linux Foundation, cre all major industries want to "use Linux for security critical applications because it enables them to get their products to market more »quickly and reduce the risk of critical design errors«.

According to her, the main challenge was still "The lack of clear documentation and tools to demonstrate that a Linux-based system meets the security requirements for certification."

Kate stewart admitted that previous attempts to solve this problem did not achieve the expected success in establishing a methodology widely discussed and accepted, but it seems certain that with ELISA everything will be different:

"We will be able to take advantage of the infrastructure and the support of the wider Linux Foundation community that is needed to make this initiative a success," he said.


As part of the project, it is planned to develop tools and processes to create and certify advanced reliability solutions based on Linux and open source software that can be used in areas such as transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and energy.

For example, a Linux environment prepared can be used to equip industrial robots, medical devices, industrial automation systems, automotive systems, and autonomous vehicles.

The launch of ELISA follows last year's release of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) 5.0, the latest version of a Linux Foundation project to bring open source technology to the automotive industry.

Previous versions focused on infotainment systems, but version 5.0 introduced telematics and map solutions that allow OEMs to share map data generated by independent cars, as well as providing greater security.


Between the objectives of the project, also mentioning the creation of reference documentation and usage examples, how to teach open source developers how to create safe and reliable code, work with the community to ensure high-quality software, track potential incidents and threats for critical component development, and introduce best practices for rapid response. on emerging issues.

As a basis for ELISA, there are the base projects SIL2LinuxMP (GNU / Linux environment trimmed for RTOS) and Linux in real time (PREEMPT_RT).

In particular, sThe architecture was revised, the code was rewritten, the interrupt handling infrastructure was redesigned, and suggestions for using printk were taken into account.

After completing testing of the PREEMPT_RT patches, individual changes are planned to be rolled out to the kernel core.

To complicate the task, real-time deployment requires significant changes to several key kernel subsystems, including timers, task schedulers, locking mechanisms, and interrupt handlers, as well as the need for all device drivers to meet certain requirements for real-time operation.

ELISA responsibilities should focus on the development of reference documentation and different usage scenarios, information from the open source community on best practices in security engineering and the activation of “continuous feedback” to improve processes and automate quality control tests.

Moreover, the organization will help members monitor the hazards and critical components of the system and lay the foundation for a set of rules members' response teams can follow in the event of a problem.

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