HighTec unveils ISO 26262 ASIL D qualified Rust Compiler for Infineon AURIX MCUs

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HighTec EDV-Systeme has announced the first ISO 26262 ASIL D qualified Rust compiler for Infineon’s AURIX microcontrollers.

Credit: HighTec

The announcement, according to HighTec, marks a significant industry milestone towards securer, safer and more efficient automotive software development of Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs) where issues of security, complexity, and cost-effectiveness present significant challenges.

Rust is a memory safety programming language that provides a number of advantages over traditional languages by minimising security risks, shortening development cycles and reducing costs.

Rust provides compile-time memory safety checks, acting as a safeguard against common vulnerabilities that are in systems written in C/C++, such as buffer overflows and pointer arithmetic.

Rust’s compile-time memory safety checks, provide prevention measures that significantly reduce the need for ‘exhaustive’ runtime testing and debugging. This not only simplifies the development process but also mitigates the financial impact associated with ensuring the safety and security of SDVs.

Rust's impact on enhancing software security is seen as significant, removing up to 70% of severe security bugs as shown by Google's adoption for Android OS. Recently the National Security Agency (NSA) and the White House have reinforced the move towards memory-safe languages as a key component for creating secure and reliable systems.

HighTec's step towards the Rust compiler qualification, that goes beyond language conformity, complements its successful C/C++ compiler for Infineon AURIX microcontrollers, which is also ASIL D qualified according to ISO 26262. Both compilers are built on the cutting-edge LLVM open-source technology.

This unified toolchain solution allows the integration of newly developed Rust code with legacy C/C++ code or so-called hybrid development approach. This means that software developers can, for example, identify critical functions in terms of security, rewrite that part in Rust and integrate it in their overall system.

The rising interest in Rust for Infineon AURIX TC3x and TC4x among OEMs, tier-1 suppliers, and key automotive software providers is driven by the language's ability to simplify compliance with new regulations such as ISO 21434 and UNECE. AURIX microcontrollers are known for their safety and encapsulation features, making them suitable as microcontrollers for Rust.

“We are pleased to be the first to offer a full ISO 26262 ASIL D qualified Rust compiler to AURIX TC3x and TC4x developers,” said Mario Cupelli, CTO at HighTec EDV-Systeme. “Together with our highly optimised C/C++ compiler, we provide efficient and dependable tools for AURIX. This aligns with our strategy of offering safe and secure solutions based on innovative open-source technologies.”

The newly available V1.0 of the AURIX Rust compiler is ISO 26262 ASIL D qualified. HighTec also facilitates the safety qualification process by offering a TÜV-certified Qualification Kit, ensuring flexibility to accommodate various customer use cases.

Designed with Rust developers in mind, the compiler comes with a preconfigured cargo build system, providing seamless access to a broad Rust software ecosystem. This includes I/O crates, drivers, a Rust runtime, examples, and a Rust integration of PXROS-HR, HighTec's safety-certified real-time operating system.