Xcalibyte invited to speak at the Embedded Systems Exhibition, China, 2021

28 Sep 2021 Shenzhen

The ELEXCON Shenzhen International Electronics and Embedded System Exhibition is the largest such professional event in the Greater Bay Area, catering for engineers and embedded systems developers. The number of visitors exceeded 26,000 on the first day. Xcalibyte was invited to speak at the event. Yuning Liang, CEO and founder, shared and discussed the development methods based on WebAssembly (WASM) technology in the embedded systems field, focusing on its advantages and challenges.

Since around 2015, WASM has helped to solve the problem of the inability to run C programs on the Web browser and provide a sandboxed execution environment. What was also discovered was that WASM can be used in embedded systems development. For example, the decoupling of software development and hardware greatly improves the efficiency of launching to the market; and business software can be developed and debugged on WASM’s API HOST platform in advance to improve software quality. At the same time, your business software can also be run on different hardware platforms.

Embedded systems development has always been based on C because of the language’s features of flexibility, efficiency, performance, and closeness to the hardware. However, as development needs evolves, development methods must also change, to overcome some of the challenges of programming in C. In recent years, there have been fewer and fewer people engaged in C language development, but at the same time there are many C language dependent libraries and improving compatibility has become very important. There is an urgent need to improve stability and safety, especially in AIOT products. At the meeting, Yuning talked about the potential risks in the embedded systems development of AIOT products, mainly in the memory management design and implementation of the linear arrangement of the data structure and insufficient read and write protection, which can lead to stack overflows. The core platform API call protection is sometimes not enough and can cause the elevation of a privilege DDOS attack. By borrowing the static features of WASM and using the scope of function calls we can add further protection to prevent them dynamically generating code and core APIs.

Xcalibyte recently partnered with the seL4 Foundation for formal verification to jointly verify the design and implementation in embedded systems.