Intel Sends Out Linux Patches For FPGA Security Manager

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 6 September 2020 at 09:25 AM EDT. 3 Comments
Patches were posted on Friday for introducing the Intel Security Manager class driver to the Linux kernel.

This open-source "Intel Security Manager" class driver is intended for managing secure updates to Intel FPGA hardware.

The patches, which were sent out by Intel engineer Russ Weight, explain: "The Intel Security Manager class driver provides a common API for user-space tools to manage updates for Secure FPGA devices. Device drivers that instantiate the Intel Security Manager class driver will interact with the HW secure update engine in order to transfer new FPGA and BMC images to FLASH so that they will be automatically loaded when the FPGA card reboots."

The binary firmware images need to be loaded under /lib/firmware and user-space can request a secure update for the FPGA card. The status of the update can be queried via sysfs interfaces as well as for finding out about any errors.

The patches for introducing the Intel FPGA Security Manager Class Driver amount to just under two thousand lines of code. Initially targeted for this FPGA secure firmware updating is Intel's FPGA N3000 Programmable Acceleration Card (PAC).
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