Last edited 2 weeks ago

Resource Isolation Framework overview

Applicable for STM32MP25x lines

1. Article purpose[edit source]

The purpose of this article is to:

  • briefly introduce the Resource Isolation Framework and its main features
  • list the different elements that make it up
  • explain how RIF is integrated at system level

2. What is Resource Isolation Framework ?[edit source]

The RIF is a fully integrated firewall solution, isolating execution contexts from each other. It allows to protect access to:

  • Internal memories
  • External memories
  • Internal peripherals
  • Peripheral features when a peripheral is providing multiple features that could be assigned to different execution contexts

and from:

  • any bus master peripherals

2.1. Some key definitions[edit source]

It is important to define few acronyms used in RIF:

  • CID = Compartment IDentifier: identifier added to any bus master peripheral transaction for emitter identification and filtering.
  • TDCID = Trusted Domain CID: it is the master owning the highest access rights of the platform, capable to configure critical secure and system resources. It is the boot processor part of the trusted boot. Value is fixed after ROM code execution.
  • DDCID = Debug Domain CID: it is dedicated CID value, assignable only to the Debug Access Port (DAP) interface which provide open access to any resource via Jtag interface to ease platform debug. This configuration is only possible when device is in "CLOSED_UNSECURED" state and debug opened by TDCID secure OS during platform boot.

2.2. RIF concept[edit source]

RIF could be seen as an extension of the bus interconnect, adding information at each transaction to identify emitter and being to able to filter transaction in parallel of address decoding. To do that, a Compartment Identifier (CID) is assigned to each bus master (CPU and peripherals) in addition to secure, read/write, execute and address fields. The following figure shows all the elements that compose a transaction and which are used to filter access on the different resources of the device. RIF CID transaction.png


2.3. RIF composition[edit source]

RIF is made up of different elements:

  • RIMU = Resource Isolation Master Unit: they are located in front of each bus master port to make transaction unique.
  • RISUP = Resource Isolation Slave Unit Peripheral: they are located in front of each slave bus connector to filter transaction according to defined rules.
  • RISAL = Resource Isolation Slave unit for Address space - Lite version: located in front of low power internal memories to filter access based on variable sized address space regions.
  • RIFSC = RIF Security Controller: provide configuration registers for all RIMU, RISUP and RISAL. Configuration is persistent in low power modes.
  • RISAF = Resource Isolation Slave unit for Address space - Full version: located in front of external memories to filter access based on variable sized address space regions. Configuration lost in low power Standby(1/2) modes.
  • RISAB = Resource Isolation Slave unit for Address space - Block-based: located in front of internal SRAM to filter access based on fixed-sized embedded memory blocks Configuration lost in low power Standby(1/2) modes.
  • IAC= Illegal Access Controller: allow to configure and monitor RIF error events.

In addition, some peripherals can't directly rely on this infrastructure because isolation granularity is not at peripheral level but feature one. For example RTC is offering secure time but also several alarms. It should be possible to assign each RTC feature to a specific execution context. To do that, RIF concept has been integrated directly inside the peripheral itself. Such peripherals are named RIF-aware peripherals. RIF-aware peripherals are in general system and communication peripherals like RCC, PWR, EXTI, GPIO, RTC, IPCC, HSEM, ...

The following figure shows a generic implementation of the RIF in a device. RIF Infrastructure.png

2.4. RIF protection model[edit source]

2.4.1. RIF peripheral protection model[edit source]

RIF offers different protection level for each protected peripheral resource.

RIF filtering rules are based on:

  • Secure level
  • Privilege level
  • CID

CID filtering has 3 modes:

  • Disabled: any masters fitting secure and privilege levels can access the resource
  • Enabled in static mode: one authorized CID value defined. Only masters fitting CID value, secure and privilege levels can access the resource
  • Enabled in semaphore mode: authorized CIDs are defined in semaphore CID list. Masters with authorized CID should take RIF HW semaphore.

Note: semaphore mode is not present in some RIF-aware peripherals (EXTI, RTC, ...).
Note: in semaphore mode, if semaphore CID list is empty, resource can't be accessed by any master.

2.4.2. RIF memory protection model[edit source]

RIF offers different protection level for each chunk of memory. Chunk of memory depends on memory type and associated RISAx protection unit. It could be:

  • fixed pages and blocks for internal memories protected by RISAB
  • configurable region for internal and external memories protected by RISAL or by RISAF

For each chunk of memory it is possible to define some RIF rules based on:

  • Global Secure level
  • Global Privilege level (if CID filtering disabled)
  • CID filtering activation
  • Read access per CID (if filtering activated)
  • Write access per CID (if filtering activated)
  • Privilege level per CID (if CID filtering activated)

2.4.3. RIF illegal access detection[edit source]

When a master with bad access rights is accessing a resource (peripheral, feature or memory), RISUP or RISAx is:

  • ignoring write request
  • returning 0 to read request

In addition, IAC (Illegal Access Controller) allows to notify TDCID processor that an illegal access occurs. Notification could be enabled peripheral per peripheral. On illegal access detection, TDCID receives an interruption from IAC and can read information about fault access in IAC status registers.

2.5. Master peripherals RIF protection[edit source]

Master peripherals own two bus connections:

  • one control port to access configuration registers. This port is protected by a RISUP to filter accesses according to rules defined in RIFSC.
  • one initiator port to generate bus read/write accesses. This port is extended by a RIMU to add transaction identifiers (CID, Secure bit, Privilege bit)

To simplify programming model, some inheritance and consistency checks have been implemented between the RISUP and the RIMU associated to a master peripheral:

  • CID inheritance: master peripheral takes the CID of the processor controlling it.
  • Secure bit consistency: master secure bit can be set only if it is controlled by a secure processor execution context

RIF master peripheral.png

2.6. Relationship between RIF and RCC[edit source]

RCC is a RIF-aware peripheral. That means RCC is integrating some RIF RISUP to protect access to its different features. RCC is offering reset and clock control for all the different peripherals present in the device.

To ease programming consistency between RIFSC and RCC RIF protection, a HW inheritance between peripheral RISUP and RCC peripheral configuration register. That means only execution context owning the peripheral can control associated clocks and reset.

RIF clock inheritance.png

This inheritance is not implemented for RIF-aware and system peripherals which are used at the same time by different execution contexts. Indeed, RCC supports peripheral auto clock gating according peripheral owner low power state. As soon as a processor is entering in (LP/LPLV)Stop low power mode, all peripherals (secure and non-secure) owned by this processor are automatically clock gated. This feature is not valid for RIF-aware and system peripherals and RCC implements a specific owning mechanism to link clock gating on state of the system instead of state of one processor.

2.7. RIFSC and RIF-aware RISUP properties[edit source]

The following table sums up the features implemented by RISUP in RIFSC and RIF-aware peripherals.

RIF component Max static CID Semaphore CID filtering RIF configuration lock
RIFSC RISUP 7 Yes Yes
EXTI 7 No Yes
FMC 7 Yes Yes
HPDMA 3 Yes Yes
IPCC 2 No No
PWR 7 No No
PWR wake-up pins 7 Yes No
RCC 7 Yes Yes
RTC 7 No No

2.8. RIF and low power modes[edit source]

The following table sums up which part of RIF configuration is preserved in the different low power modes.

RIF component Run(1/2) (LP/LPLV)Stop(1/2) Standby(1/2)
RIFSC Preserved Preserved Preserved
RISAB Preserved Preserved Lost
RISAF Preserved Preserved Lost
RIF-aware peripherals Preserved Preserved Lost

2.9. RIF and debug[edit source]

Thanks to RIF, it is possible to force Jtag DAP access rights according to selected debug profile. The following table sums the possible configuration:

Debug profile Cortex-A debug Cortex-M debug DAP access
Microcontroller debug No debug Secure Same as Cortex-M
Non-secure
Microprocessor debug Secure No debug Same a Cortex-A
Non-secure
Global debug Secure Same as Cortex-M or same as Cortex-A or DDCID
Non-secure

Setting DAP master CID to DDCID allows to access any platform resources via DAP interface, whatever their associated RIF rules configuration. This allows to debug the platform without having to modify RIF configuration for debug purpose.
Of course secure and privilege level of DAP interface could also be configured.

3. How to configure RIF[edit source]

RIF configuration depends on several criteria:

  • the RIF integration in the platform
  • the execution contexts present in the platform
  • the SW components under execution on the different context

For STM32MP25x lines More info.png, please refer to STM32MP25 firewall configuration