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See detailBehind the Last Line of Defense -- Surviving SoC Faults and Intrusions
Pinto Gouveia, Ines UL; Volp, Marcus UL; Esteves-Verissimo, Paulo UL

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g ... [more ▼]

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g. hypervisors. In current architectures, this software forms a single point of failure and worthwhile target for attacks: once compromised, adversaries gain access to all information and full control over the platform and the environment it controls. This paper proposes Midir, an enhanced manycore architecture, effecting a paradigm shift from SoCs to distributed SoCs. Midir changes the way platform resources are controlled, by retrofitting tile-based fault containment through well known mechanisms, while securing low-overhead quorum-based consensus on all critical operations, in particular privilege management and, thus, management of containment domains. Allowing versatile redundancy management, Midir promotes resilience for all software levels, including at low level. We explain this architecture, its associated algorithms and hardware mechanisms and show, for the example of a Byzantine fault tolerant microhypervisor, that it outperforms the highly efficient MinBFT by one order of magnitude. [less ▲]

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