Security is the biggest concern in today's connected electronics, where most of the devices are IOT supportive and are capable of connecting to multiple devices and lot of personal information is moved between. SOC designers are trying to secure their chips at processor core level. Imagination is securing SoC designs based on MIPS and PowerVR processor cores and other SOC IPs with a technology called OmniShield.
OmniShield is scalable security tech where applications are effectively and reliably isolated from each other as well as protected from non-secure applications without affecting functionality, performance, cost, and power consumption. In OmniShield technology, each secure/non-secure application/operating system can operate independently in its own separate environment. A good example is the financial transaction processes such as DRM and payment systems can exist with non-secure processes such as gaming and web browsing but are isolated from each other.
OmniShield allows developers to write and debug the code in a virtualised environment, and operators and other service providers can configure devices for provisioning of services in the field.
In case of a heterogenous architecture where data is moved across different processor chips such as graphic processor, OmniShield is equally scalable for such kind of requirements too. Where the protection is equally provided to other processor chips in the system, says Imagination.
OmniShield uses hardware-enforced separation and protection which makes IOT enabled embedded systems more secure.
OmniShield supports hardware virtualization to all processing engines including general processors (CPUs) and application specific processors such as GPUs.
Imagination says "it is building OmniShield support into its entire range of processors, including MIPS Warrior CPUs, PowerVR multimedia processors and Ensigma processors. Imagination’s processors are designed to operate in heterogeneous and coherent clusters connected by a scalable secure interconnect fabric which extends OmniShield throughout the SoC with secure flows controlled by a trusted hypervisor. In addition, Imagination and its partners will provide a growing range of virtualized Root-of-Trust IP blocks for OmniShield including crypto, Public Key Accelerator, true random number generators, secure I/O for external TPMs and secure ROM."
Imagination is making available trusted boot and other security functions, and trusted hypervisors and secure OS, in 2015 and after through the open source prpl Foundation. The prpl security working group is also working to deliver an overall security framework, open APIs (application programming interfaces), and reference platforms supporting the multi-domain technology.
OmniShield technology is already used by many of the Imagination' customers. Elliptic Technologies, Ikanos, Lantiq, MediaTek, and Renesas are some of the chip designing companies who have shared positive opinions on this technology.