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David Kleidermacher, chief technology officer, Green Hills Software

David Kleidermacher, chief technology officer for Green Hills Software, talks with Graham Pitcher

GP: What are the challenges you are currently addressing?
DK: Software complexity and connectivity are causing all kinds of issues for designers and for Green Hills.

GP: What do you see as the most important recent development made by Green Hills?
DK: Padded Cell has been ‘awesome’. It means Integrity can run things, with the Linux and Windows operating systems running alongside. This
opens new possibilities – for example in the automotive sector, where people are used to having a high reliability OS in the head unit.
Today, automotive designers are adding features for rear seat passengers and need to know how to do that efficiently. One of the ways they can do this safely is to use the Padded Cell approach, with Windows XP running the rear seat entertainment.

GP: Can you put Green Hills’ separation kernel technology into context?
DK: It’s one of the most exciting things that GHS has done, but it’s not a hypervisor. Designers need a separation kernel that can run not only run native applications, but also guests. Getting certification for the Integrity separation kernel has been the difference. What it means is that you can now run the Linux OS on a plane

GP: What is Green Hills’ position regarding Atom and ARM?
DK: We’re pushing on both technologies. With Atom, the virtualisation technology pretty much the same as in other Intel devices and the ability to run padded cell is pretty much unchanged. The challenge with Atom, however, is power.

GP: What is the impact of virtualisation?
DK: Virtualisation can make anything into an open platform. Posix used to be the answer until recently. It’s still important and there are customers who still use it, but virtualisation is the ultimate open OS

GP: Can you give an example of where virtualisation could be important?
DK: Operator control is one example. In an industrial plant, that control is being done by Windows using Internet Protocol to communicate to something. In a safety critical application, that’s scary. But we can take that application and use virtualisation to make it secure.

GP: What support are you giving for new technology, including Atom and ARM processors?
DK: One of the big questions we’re facing is how designers can take advantage of the ARM Cortex-A9. It’s a multicore processor and multicore has been a big driver of where our toolsets and our OSs are going.
Most architectures now have a multicore element, so we have taken all of our tools – for example, Multi and Time Machine – so designers can optimise and performance analysis so they can tune their multicore systems.

Graham Pitcher

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