Ferrocene:
Rust for critical systems

Enabling engineers to ship safe and correct code, faster.

The Ferrocene logo. A ball between two planes. The name ferrocene next to it.

Ferrocene is a sustainable effort led by Critical Section GmbH, a newly formed Ferrous Systems subsidiary, tasked with making Rust a first-class language for mission and safety-critical systems. Ferrocene produces a qualified Rust compiler toolchain. General availability is expected by the end of 2022.

Ferrocene leads initiatives such as language specification and verification, supporting community tools, and improving the safety-critical developer experience. Ferrocene balances reinforcing the current Rust ecosystem while driving language innovation through research and industrial feedback.

Check out our Ferrocene blog series's latest entry for the full background and motivations behind the project!

Ferrocene is currently looking for partners and co-workers.

Ferrocene implements an iterative approach to bring the Rust language to the industry's highest level of trust while adhering to Rust's continuous innovation and developer-first values.

Our methodology

Qualification

Ferrocene aims to qualify the Rust compiler at ISO 26262/ASIL-B readiness and general availability by the end of 2022. Other standards are planned. Along the way, we will work closely with early adopters to increase the toolchain's quality and gather important safety-critical industry feedback and experiences.

Specification

Ferrocene is a vehicle for a versioned Rust and MIR specification, paired with automated verification of Rust semantics. These "runnable specs" give developers in mission-critical and high-security environments a sound, proven, and addressable foundation for building critical libraries, analysis tools, and further system assurances.

Research

Ferrocene drives efforts to bring existing verification tools, like MIRI, to a production-ready state. Ferrocene oversees improvements to the ease of formally verifying Rust programs through verification of language metatheory and researching additional correctness guarantees that can be provided by the language.

Long Term Support

Critical Section will maintain designated legacy versions of the Rust toolchain and supporting utilities. This support includes backporting fixes of critical language and standard library issues (performance bugs, unsoundness, security) and maintaining key rustc targets, including test cases and platform-specific testing.

Critical Section commits to providing secure, auditable distribution channels for these toolchain updates.

Community

Ferrocene acts as a beacon and gathering place for mission and safety-critical concerns in the Rust project. Ferrocene creates developer representation and raises the visibility of these industries in the Rust ecosystem.

Partners and early access!

Ferrocene is a principled project with much work ahead, requiring cross-industry collaboration and continuous feedback. It has support from crucial industry partners and subject experts, and we're building a thoughtful community.

Right now, Ferrous Systems and Critical Section are calling for additional partners to join this effort. We're currently looking for partners from diverse industries, including:

  • Safety-critical sectors, such as automotive, railway, and aerospace
  • Operators of mission-critical infrastructure with high-reliability and security concerns, such as cloud vendors and blockchain
  • Hardware vendors
  • Compiler vendors
  • Formal verification and formal reasoning practitioners and tool vendors

If this describes you or your organization, we're happy to get in touch and discuss your goals! Ferrocene partners get exclusive early access to Ferrocene releases and custom research and development with dedicated engineers.

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We're hiring!

Critical Section is looking for passionate research engineers and tool developers. From diving into Rust compiler internals, proving language semantics with Coq/Isabelle, keeping up with the latest Rust research, and creating first-class code analysis tools, Ferrocene has an abundance of exciting problems.

Located in Berlin, we are hiring remote engineers and across experience levels. Critical Section values strong writing and autonomous problem solving. You will be contributing to and leading open source efforts.

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