SiFive donates WorldGuard security to RISC-V International

SiFive donates WorldGuard security to RISC-V International

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

SiFive is to donate its WorldGuard security technology to RISC-V international in a bid to create a consistent security platform across the RISC-V community.

The fragmented security eco-system is seen as a key weakness for RISC-V that prevents different suppliers working together effectively from chip to system.

The open WorldGuard model provides a system-level approach to securing RISC-V designs, making it easy for developers to enable a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) on RISC-V platforms.

“Instead of having to reinvent the wheel, developers can use open tools like WorldGuard to ensure their products are secure and speed up time-to-market,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International. “We appreciate SiFive’s donation of WorldGuard as we all work together to secure the future of RISC-V innovation.”

The hardware-enhanced software isolation provides protection against improper access to memory or devices by software applications and other bus initiators (such as DMAs).

Designers can quickly create domains, also known as “worlds,” for isolated code execution and data protection. WorldGuard doesn’t break the RISC-V ISA and doesn’t require new instructions to be used but adds secure metadata to the transactions issued by the various bus initiators. These permissions are checked against an Access Control List (ACL) at the destination, whether it’s memory or a peripheral.

The isolation is based on multiple levels of privilege for each world, offering robust SoC-level information control. This allows multiple trusted environments, enabling a Trusted Computing Base (TCB) where the highest level of trust is limited to the secure ROM boot, the Machine-mode firmware, the secure applications, and the OS. This base of trust is also referred to as the ‘Trusted Agent.’

“Robust security is fundamental to every silicon design, but many of the latest security solutions are out of reach for developers,” said Dany Nativel, Senior Director, Product Marketing at SiFive. “From the start, our WorldGuard security model was open and freely accessible for developers to secure their designs at a system level. By donating WorldGuard to RISC-V International, we hope that even more developers will take advantage of it so the entire RISC-V ecosystem can benefit.”

Ongoing development of WorldGuard will now be managed by RISC-V International and SiFive will continue to contribute its expertise and resources.;


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