Thursday, December 4, 2014

ARM® TrustZone® technology

A large percentage of embedded devices contain ARM® technology.  The iPhone® and most of the Android phones contain an ARM® processor.  Netbooks, set-top boxes, VOIP phones, eReaders, tablets, home media players, internet routers, credit card point-of-sale (POS) terminals, medical lasers, heads-up displays (HUD), digital rights management, BYOD, industrial equipment, and numerous other types of embedded products contain ARM® processors.

ARM® licenses its semiconductor IP technology to most of the leading semiconductor manufacturing companies in the world.  This list of companies includes Freescale, NXP, Apple, Nvidia, Samsung, Qualcomm, ST, Atmel, and many others.  ARM® designs the microprocessor and then the licensee manufacturers the microprocessor.  There are numerous types of ARM® processors and each is suited for specific types of applications.

Microprocessors in the ARM® Cortex®-A processor family are designed for more compute-intensive operations.  Microprocessors in the ARM® Cortex®-A processor family contain different types of extensions.

ARM® TrustZone® architecture security extensions are designed to address system security as a whole.  ARM® Cortex®-A processors are designed with ARM® TrustZone® technology. 
ARM® TrustZone® technology is licensed as a series of semiconductor IP blocks. Its capabilities are extended outside of just the processor and into the entire system via specific IP blocks.

time-sliced execution -  context  switching
between secure world and normal world 
One of the notable features of ARM® TrustZone® technology is the ability of an ARM® TrustZone® microprocessor to allow software to execute in parallel worlds.  For instance, software running in a secure mode of execution on your phone can handle sensitive information such as credit card pin number input.

The Linux community has embraced ARM® technology and the Linux kernel has been ported across numerous variations of the ARM®microprocessor.

Some of the more widely used consumer products have ARM® microprocessors with ARM® TrustZone extensions; these include the iPhone, Samsung Series of Phones, LG, and many of the other Android-based phones.

note: Intel has technology similar to TrustZone

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved.  ARM and TrustZone are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved.  ARM and SecurCore are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved. Freescale, the Freescale logo, AltiVec, C-5, CodeTEST, CodeWarrior, ColdFire, ColdFire+, C-Ware, the Energy Efficient Solutions logo, Kinetis, MagniV, mobileGT, PEG, PowerQUICC, Processor Expert, QorIQ, QorIQ Qonverge, Qorivva, Ready Play, SafeAssure, the SafeAssure logo, StarCore, Symphony, VortiQa, Vybrid and Xtrinsic are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

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