Design and Analysis of an Online Update Approach for Embedded Microprocessors

Patrick Uven and Philipp Ittershagen and Kim Grüttner
The 6th International Embedded Systems Symposium
Software updates are already used in many systems for fixing bugs and for improving or extending their functionality. For many embedded systems with strong requirements on their availability, software updates are still not used because an update cycle usually causes a down time of the system. For servers in data centers with high availability requirements, so-called live patching solutions exist for many year. Live-Patching allows updating the software without affecting the availability of the system (i.e. no restart is required). In this work, we propose the application of live patching on small embedded microprocessors. We present a proof-of-concept implementation on a Xilinx MicroBlaze processor and compare the properties of our implementation, w.r.t. the amount of transmitted update data, memory requirements and update cycle duration against a state-of-the-art full-memory update.
Software-Methoden und Technologien für Modulare Updates von Cyber-Physischen Systemen