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Industrial Automation

Automation and Industrial Control System (ICS) vendors have the opportunity to drive new revenue streams through remote diagnostics and data analytics, predictive maintenance, and asset lifecycle management. Additionally, the end user (plant or factory operator) requires the ability to reduce operating costs and increase profitability through:

Industrial Automation Flow

The new generation of multicore and heterogeneous multicore processors enable feature-rich, power-efficient, safe and secure industrial systems. Mentor Embedded can help you consolidate legacy and new applications, the latest technologies, a comprehensive security architecture, and next-generation multicore processors on the same industrial device.

Highlighted Partners

  • Softing AG: A global provider of products for industrial automation
  • Icon Labs: Provider of cross platform security solutions for embedded device manufacturers
  • Wurldtech: Technology and testing provider for protection of infrastructure from cyber attacks


  • Artificial Lift Systems
  • Building Automation
  • Dimensioning Systems
  • Industrial Controllers
  • Pneumatic Systems
  • Precision Measurement Systems
  • Seismic Systems
  • Transfer Switches
  • and many more…


System Convergence

Industrial automation and control efficiency continues to evolve with the increasing use of multicore processor technology enabling discrete systems to converge into a single device. Management objectives to lower operating expense and increase profitability are requiring new product strategies including multicore devices to increase processing performance, implement hardware enforced security, manage power, and support a plethora of connectivity options while complying with safety regulations.

Physical footprint can be minimized with the latest generations of advanced homogeneous and heterogeneous multicore processors providing the foundation for partitioned systems where legacy applications can be separated and secured from next generation features on a single device.

Advanced integrated development tools and software is needed to address new multicore complexities. The Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework (MEMF) allows developers to configure and deploy multiple operating systems and applications across homogeneous and heterogeneous processor cores that co-exist on a single System on Chip (SoC) processor. This comprehensive software framework allows developers to manage the many challenges associated with inter-process communication (IPC), resource management/sharing, and process control within a heterogeneous multicore/multi-OS environment. For legacy application consolidation, the Mentor Hypervisor supports guest operating environments including Linux®, RTOS, and bare metal in Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP), Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), or a combination of system architectures.

Reduce Power Usage

Advanced power management techniques are critical to meeting business objectives. Power management is now being effectively utilized to reduce overall plant and factory electricity usage leading to lower operational costs. Additionally, managing device power can help control EMI/RFI emissions, minimizing certification costs as well as reducing interference and interoperability concerns throughout the facilities. Consolidating applications and operating environments on a single SoC yields significant increases in functionality and performance without proportional increases in power consumption.

Natively, Nucleus® RTOS allows developers to design power-efficient industrial devices that conserve energy consumption by utilizing the latest power saving features available in today’s processors from application processors down to battery-powered microcontrollers. The Nucleus Power Management Framework provides intuitive high-level software APIs to control the power state of individual devices, blocks of devices, or the entire system. Frequency scaling, or transitioning the device into various low power or sleep modes, can be accomplished with a single API call. Software developers can write and test applications during development to ensure the most stringent power requirements are met.

Decrease Downtime

Plant and factory downtime, particularly unscheduled downtime, can significantly impact operating costs and profitability. Implementing remote connectivity to enable predictive maintenance, a robust security architecture using defense-in-depth techniques, and advanced tools to fully characterize devices before they are deployed in the field are now fundamental tenets when developing Industrial Automation devices.

System reliability is key for industrial devices, with Nucleus RTOS providing a low overhead process model that creates space domain partitioning, isolating software subsystems to help ensure a fault in one subsystem is contained and cannot adversely affect the entire system. Designed for performance, space partitioning is achieved utilizing the Memory Management Unit or Memory Protection Unit (in devices without MMUs) to create memory regions without the need to use virtual memory. Processes can be dynamically loaded after runtime as needed and unloaded when idle to efficiently use system resources. For connected Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), deployed systems can receive software updates and upgrades from cloud based services using the process model and the IoT protocols in Nucleus RTOS.

Developing industrial devices for reliable function is a fundamental design requirement in automation and control systems and necessitates comprehensive system characterization before devices can be deployed to the field. Sourcery™ CodeBench provides automated analysis features allowing developers to fully characterize device performance across the product lifecycle.

Systems Security and Safety

Providing robust security for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) has long been a goal and a frequently mandated requirement. Evolving security standards, a limited understanding of security architecture fundamentals and missing technologies to reasonably secure applications has challenged the industry for years. Recent advances in multicore processor technology, hypervisor partitioning, and industrial security standards now provide a viable and certifiable approach for ICS systems.

Icon Labs' Floodgate™ Security Framework provides a foundation for developing secure, trusted, authenticated and managed embedded ICS devices. Floodgate products have been integrated with Mentor Graphics Nucleus RTOS and Mentor Embedded Linux platforms to provide critical building blocks for implementing security and meeting the requirements of IEC 62443. The Floodgate Security Framework includes an embedded firewall, anti-tamper, secure boot and provides integration with Enterprise security management systems. This allows ICS devices to be integrated into the overall security management system for the factory or enterprise. Remote management of policies as well as auditability and event logging enhance the enterprise security posture.

Wurldtech Achilles® Communications Certification is an industry leading benchmark for securing connected industrial devices. With an aim to protect critical infrastructure, Achilles certification reduces risk against cyber security threats and costs associated with attacks. The certification process is designed to assess the industrial device’s robustness against a variety of cyber-attacks including network storms, floods, and IP packet fuzzers, IP grammars and more. Achilles certification validates the device’s ability to not only correctly handle the cyber-attack, but to operate during the attack without any interruption or degradation to the performance of the system. Nucleus RTOS provides IP stack solutions that meet the stringent certification requirements of Achilles Level 1 and 2 testing. With Nucleus networking solutions, device manufacturers can be confident they are designing with a proven and certified IP stack.

In the increasingly connected and data-rich factory, stored data also needs to be secured and validated. Mentor Embedded Hypervisor includes support for ARM® TrustZone® to secure critical information and software. This includes storage of cryptographic keys, passwords, and other sensitive data. The TrustZone environment can also be used to securely process information, such as authenticating and validating downloaded software, or simply processing sensitive data.

Requirements for IEC 61508 SIL3 safety certification are being driven by increasing costs and concerns related to recalls, repairs and litigation due to the potential risk of bodily harm. The challenge for software developers is to meet the stringent IEC 61508 requirements while developing feature-rich devices of increasing software complexity on schedule and within budget. Nucleus RTOS meets the highest level of safety certification with IEC 61508 SIL 3 certification, complete with the documents and artifacts needed for certification submissions. To reduce system costs, the certified Nucleus process model provides a framework for mixed-criticality designs that can be used to create memory protected regions that isolate safety applications from non-safety applications to consolidate software safely onto a single SOC.

Create rich UIs and HMIs with high performance graphics for embedded devices

User Interface (UI) Development

Mentor Embedded helps developers create rich UIs that address user expectations by enabling high performance graphics on both micro-controllers (MCU) and micro-processors (MPU) platforms. Both open source Qt® and proprietary UI solutions are integrated with the Nucleus RTOS and the Mentor Embedded Linux platforms from the driver to the middleware layer, and fully supported with Sourcery CodeBench development tools. Graphics optimizations and system performance analysis and tuning are part of the integrated tools allowing developers to visualize multiple processors and the Qt® application event behaviors on a single timeline.

Related Products

Sourcery CodeBench

Mentor Embedded runtime platforms are integrated with Sourcery CodeBench with Sourcery Analyzer for advanced developer tools. Advanced trace capabilities at both the platform and application level, along with unique and powerful data analysis and visualization capabilities enables developers to debug and eliminate system anomalies.

Mentor Embedded Linux

A tool suite and Linux distribution delivered in source code to provide industrial automation device developers key capabilities including Yocto™ Project compliance, protocol support, security components including SELinux, kernel and application trace for system characterization, and Linux validation testing.

User Interface Solutions

Mentor Embedded helps developers create rich UIs by enabling high performance graphics and UI solutions on both micro-controllers (MCU) and micro-processors platforms. Both open source Qt® and Tara Systems Embedded Wizard with integrated support in Nucleus RTOS, Mentor Embedded Linux and Mentor Hypervisor platforms.

Mentor Embedded Hypervisor

A type-1, operating system independent Hypervisor delivered in source code to provide industrial automation device developers key capabilities including a small footprint framework for managing multi-OS devices, creating secure and non-secure application environments and support for single or multicore architectures using asymmetric multiprocessing and/or symmetric multiprocessing.

Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework

The Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework allows developers to configure and deploy multiple operating systems and applications across homogeneous and heterogeneous processor cores that co-exist on a single SoC. Manage the many challenges associated with inter-process communication, resource management/sharing, and process control (remoteproc and rpmsg) within a heterogeneous multicore and multi-OS environment.

Nucleus Real-Time Operating System

Feature rich, real-time, deterministic RTOS with support for the latest industrial protocols including power management, light weight process model for memory partitioning, and SMP/sAMP configurations. Configured for a reduced footprint that includes only the necessary security, networking and connectivity features required to support resourced constrained MCU processors, Nucleus RTOS includes the documentation and artifacts required for IEC 61508 safety certification & an IP stack that is Wurldtech Achilles certified.

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