Safeguard Critical Systems with X-ES’ Turn-Key Secure Boot Implementation Package for NXP Processor-Based Hardware

Secure Boot for Trusted, Authenticated Computing

As system security has increasingly become a focal point for the embedded computing industry, Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) has responded by providing our customers with a turn-key secure boot software package for use on NXP QorIQ and LayerScape processor-based hardware from X-ES.

The secure boot software is delivered pre-customized by X-ES for the target processor board, expediting development by providing a simplified, developer-friendly implementation package. Once configured, secure boot is the process through which the processor validates whether the system’s image is trusted and safe for booting.

View all NXP Processor-Based Boards from X-ES

XPedite6401 XMC/PMC NXP QorIQ Processor Board

Protect Critical Information

NXP Trust Architecture Provides Security Assurance

Secure boot, a subset of the NXP Trust Architecture, is the initial point for a trusted system’s assurance that it is booting and executing only authentic code. Secure boot can be utilized alongside the other components of the Trust Architecture to provide a comprehensive, secure software computing solution. The Trust Architecture additionally includes memory access control/strong partitioning, persistent storage, security state monitoring, master secrets, security violation detection, and secure debug.

All of the Trust Architecture features are supported on each of X-ES’ NXP QorIQ P-Series, T-Series, and LayerScape processor-based hardware.

Secure Boot Prevents
Inauthentic Code from Executing

Hardware Check on Software

Secure boot provides a hardware check on software validity to determine if the bootable image is to be trusted. The ability of secure boot to make this distinction enables it to prevent the CPU from running untrusted code, detect and reject modified security configuration values and device secrets, allow trusted code to use a device-specific, one-time programmable master key (OTPMK) when the processor is in a secure state, and prevents extraction of sensitive values from the device.

In order for secure boot to properly verify if the code is authentic and therefore trustworthy, the developer must first digitally sign the code. This is achieved by generating an RSA public and private key pair to enable the secure boot sequence hash check distinction between authentic, trusted code and inauthentic code.

X-ES Shortens Development Timelines

X-ES significantly simplifies the code signing process for the customer by providing the NXP Code Signing Tool as well as including a revised U-Boot bootloader which adds the ability to validate images that are signed for X-ES processor boards. Developers are not dependent on NXP or X-ES for code-signing, and are able to accomplish this themselves with the X-ES provided software toolkit.

Another significant advantage to using the X-ES-modified secure boot software is that the developer does not require a high level of familiarity with the hardware in order to begin development, since device-specific secure boot customizations have already been completed.

Multiple Configurations Available

Meet Specific Security Requirements

The secure boot package from X-ES supports the customer’s choice of either a monolithic image including bootloader, OS, and applications which is signed as a single package, or chain of trust where the internal secure boot code (ISBC) validates the bootloader, the bootloader validates the OS, and the OS validates the applications all in sequence before permitting the system software to execute code.

While the monolithic image only uses a single digital signature, the chain of trust is capable of supporting unique RSA public and private key pairs for each phase of the validation.

Chain of Trust with Confidentiality

Harden system and boot security even further with chain of trust with confidentiality, which supports booting into an encrypted image. In this boot process, the ISBC (Internal Secure Boot Code) validates the X-ES U-Boot code, which is then followed by a boot script that runs to decapsulate/decrypt OS images, which then allows the boot script to pass control to the OS.

Monolithic can support encrypted data but cannot boot into an encrypted image.

Industry-Leading Secure Hardware

X-ES provides industry-leading, ruggedized embedded computing boards supporting NXP QorIQ P-Series, T-Series, and LayerScape processors, each designed with trusted subsystems to provide security assurance in a variety of applications.

Presently available in nine COTS, industry-standard form factors, X-ES NXP processor-based boards support pairing secure boot with the customer’s choice of OS, including Linux, Wind River VxWorks, or Green Hills INTEGRITY. Backed by secure boot, these processor boards are capable of high-performance computing in trusted environments, providing unparalleled reliability and affirmation that only trusted OEM code is being executed.

Featured X-ES Products Supporting Secure Boot

XPedite6401 XMC/PMC Mezzanine Module


XMC/PMC Mezzanine Module

The XPedite6401 supports an NXP QorIQ LS1043A processor with four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores operating at up to 1.6 GHz.

The LS10xxA processor family delivers excellent networking performance and flexible I/O options in a single System-on-Chip (SoC) design, making it the logical choice for Small Form Factor (SFF) networking and rugged industrial embedded computing applications.

View XPedite6401

XPedite5970 3U VPX-REDI SBC



The XPedite5970 provides a rugged, feature-rich processing solution that maximizes the performance-per-watt capabilities of a Power Architecture®-based processor module.

Its NXP QorIQ T2080 processor offers eight virtual (four dual-threaded) e6500 cores, running at up to 1.8 GHz, and integrates a 128-bit AltiVec technology-based SIMD engine per core. The integrated AltiVec SIMD engines enable the XPedite5970 to support DSP-level Floating-Point performance and an extensive inventory of software libraries.

View XPedite5970

XCalibur1641 6U OpenVPX™ SBC



The XCalibur1641 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, single board computer supporting NXP QorIQ P3, P4, and P5 processors.

The standard configuration supports an NXP QorIQ P4080 processor with eight Power Architecture® e500mc cores at up to 1.5 GHz and IEEE 754 Floating-Point Units (FPU).

A wide range of I/O is supported to the back panel and optional front panel.

View XCalibur1641

Interested in Secure Boot on Your X-ES Hardware?

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