The presentation slides from the DSbD Building the software ecosystem – Scoping Workshop, held online on 31st July 2020, are now available:

Digital Security by Design (DSbD) – Programme Introduction and Update

Morello platform software enablement – Arm

CHERI Introduction – University of Cambridge

CHERI reference software stack – University of Cambridge

*CHERI = Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions

The aim of this online scoping workshop was to solicit input from across the software engineering community including

  • companies involved in R&D and/or doing business across the software development lifecycle (system engineers, architects, developers)
  • Universities and research organisations with expertise in software development ecosystems

The workshop was intended to cover a broad technology space relevant to DSbD including:

  • software frameworks
  • development environments
  • operating systems
  • language runtimes
  • libraries
  • middleware

The focus was on the enablement of the software ecosystem to support the development of products and services based on DSbD’s new security approach.

Further background on the Digital Security by Design Challenge

The Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Challenge  will radically update the foundation of the insecure digital computing infrastructure by creating a new, more secure hardware and software ecosystem. Built on new security capabilities, the technology developed through the DSbD Programme is set to enable industry change and to underpin future digital products and services.

The DSbD Programme involves 3 main activities: Enable, Use and Impact.

The Enable activity will deliver through the Arm-led consortium a technology platform prototype, known as the Morello platform, with built-in architectural features designed to implement the concept of ‘Capabilities’ based on the CHERI protection model anchored in multi-year research by Cambridge University.

The Impact activity focuses on the development of market demonstrators, underpinned by the Morello platform, with the aim to enable sector-specific adoptions of the DSbD technologies to develop future products and services.

Crucial to the uptake of DSbD’s new approach to security will be enabling developers to take advantage of the new security features that are available in the hardware, in the way that software is engineered, programmed and executed.

This is the aim of the Use activity: to provide a range of tooling, software development environments, language run-times, libraries, processes and methodologies that will ultimately enable an ecosystem effect to underpin success and market impact.

Future key milestones and associated deliverables

A Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) model – available from November 2020 – will simulate the Morello hardware and offer an environment on which to develop, build and test software ahead of the physical hardware. The FVP model will be released with initial support software in terms of a toolchain, libraries, kernel development and some limited userspace examples.

The Morello platform – expected to deliver initial boards from January 2022 – with system software, toolchains and software stacks that will include further developed features for capability-aware development.

Background information on the DSbD challenge is available via the Digital Security by Design Challenge Homepage, and the challenge vision is outlined in this document.

Please contact Robin Kennedy if you have any questions about this.

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