Memory Protection Unit Configuration for Software Component Testing on PowerPC Microprocessor

OData support
Naszály Gábor
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Embedded systems in the automotive industry has increased rapidly in the past two decades. The embedded industry looks to integrate multiple software functionalities on a single system to save cost, size, power and many other parameters. This integration thereby generates the new requirement in the embedded industry of giving isolation functionality which is achieved by the Memory Protection Unit (MPU).

MPU (Memory Protection Unit) is used in safety critical systems to protect safety critical data from unauthorized access. Production systems use MPU but during software component testing on target microcontroller, usually MPU is not configured. To improve SW development process with reporting memory access violation, already use MPU can be introduced in continuous testing system. Detecting memory problems of software components reduce development cost.

MPU assures the protection against unauthorized access to the memory area of a safety-relevant software component. This helps in catching the faults in the systems, this drives the motivation behind the configuration of the Memory Protection unit on the PowerPC microprocessor. The thesis was performed at Thyssenkrupp Presta Hungary Kft, where on a single Software component with its component test, a prototype has been created using the MPU during the component test on target microcontroller. This prototype is capable of catching faults of both the tested Software Component and its test code including access to reserved areas of the microcontrollers, stack underflow/overflow, unauthorized variable access and unauthorized code execution. With the help of "Memory Mapping", the exact start and end address of the protected memory sections are calculated automatically by the linker. So, the solution in this prototype can be easily adapted to the component test of any other software component in the continuous testing system.


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