Efficient Embedded Memory Protection for Express Logic’s ThreadX Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)

Embedded systems, like desktops and servers, are vulnerable to programming errors that can cause unintended behavior and even system failure. A bug in one program can overwrite data in another program or in the kernel, threatening the entire system.

Many techniques exist for protecting programs from the errant actions of other programs on the same system. In desktops and servers, this is effectively done through memory management hardware and a multiuser operating system that gives each user an independent virtual machine environment. This isolation effectively prevents direct access to the resources of other users or the operating system itself. But desktop and server approaches require more resources and may be impractical for an embedded system, which typically has demanding performance requirements and memory constraints.

This paper describes an approach that is designed to provide memory protection for embedded systems. “Embedded Memory Protection” (EMP) provides the benefits of memory protection without the typical overhead or complexity of desktop approaches.

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