Arm seeks to define baseline software compatibility for IoT and edge devices

By Chris Edwards |  No Comments  |  Posted: October 7, 2020
Topics/Categories: Blog - Embedded, IP  |  Tags: , , ,  | Organizations:

As part of its Project Cassini endeavour, Arm aims to simplify the job of deploying and managing embedded systems based on its architecture through a certification program that demonstrates compatibility with supported software stacks.

Simon Segars, CEO, said at the company’s DevSummit this week (6 October) the aim of Arm SystemReady is to “avoid reinvention” and provide “confidence that software ‘just works’ seamlessly on Arm. We will achieve that by tackling common components of the software stack, such as the operating system, the hypervisor, and middleware components”.

Arm has based SystemReady on its existing ServerReady program. SoC and board vendors can choose to adopt one or more of them for their products with options for embedded Linux servers, servers that run other operating systems that use UEFI or ACPI firmware interfaces, IoT devices that use a subset of UEFI and a high-end version that copies the existing ServerReady specification. A separate logo program is used for implementations that support secure boot and firmware-update protection mechanisms.

To obtain logo certification, the SoCs will need to pass test suites that are being published on Github. The tests can be run presilicon and Arm says it has worked with Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys on support for the presilicon test phase. Some production implementations have already been certified, including the Raspberry Pi 4, which is classed ES for embedded server.

To guide SoC designers, Arm has published the Base System Architecture document, which defines a common register layout and wakeup semantics to try to ensure the devices respond to firmware commands in the same way.

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