Tortuga Logic, a cybersecurity company specializing in hardware threat detection and prevention, announced the launch of Radix-M, the industry’s first platform capable of performing security validation of firmware on complex system-on-chip (SoCs) designs. Built with funding support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Radix-M identifies and prevents unknown firmware vulnerabilities. It also automates previously manual processes firmware engineers and SoC security teams conduct using the existing hardware- and cloud-based Cadence Palladium Z1 Enterprise Emulation Platform for seamless hardware and software execution.
“Engineering teams spend tremendous time and effort validating their firmware and chip designs, yet the methods can sometimes pose challenges when it comes to detecting security vulnerabilities,” said Paul Cunningham, Corporate VP and GM of the Systems and Verification Group at Cadence Design Systems. “Cadence collaborated with Tortuga Logic on the development and use of Tortuga Logic’s Radix-M with our Palladium Z1 emulation platform by targeting firmware vulnerabilities in modern SoCs and reducing the risk of security exploits from reaching the field.”
SoC design teams run emulation to ensure their firmware is operating correctly. Firmware sets hardware configuration parameters to ensure correct functionality. Traditionally, the only way to assess firmware security has been through a tedious, manual process that does not adequately identify vulnerabilities directly associated with the hardware, where the majority of exploits occur. In addition, product engineers largely rely on parameters set by security architects to secure their configurations, often resulting in a disconnect between the two teams that allows vulnerabilities to go unnoticed.
Radix-M addresses this critical market void by offering the first automated way to execute thorough security validation procedures for firmware and chip designs. When integrated with commercial emulation systems, such as the Cadence Palladium Z1 platform, Radix-M analyzes an entire software stack on the hardware, ensuring security simultaneously on both parts of the system.