Release Cadence and Process

The project aims to do a release once every 9 months. The planned dates are listed in the Future release plans

The releases are to be performed and tagged on a dedicated release branch. The release process is initiated by an announcement in TF-M mailing list and followed by the creation of a release branch. Normal development on the main branch is not blocked and can be continued. The testing will be performed on release candidates and depending on issues found, additional candidates may be created to fix and retest the issues.

The Platform owners are expected to verify their platforms and confirm the correct operations or provide fixes in a timely manner to include in the release. The release notes will list all verified platforms. The platforms in Trusted Firmware OpenCI are automatically tested and any issues found shall be fixed.

After the final tag, the changes from the release branch will be back ported to the main branch.

hide time-axis

concise "main branch" as main
concise "release branch v1.1.x" as rel1
concise "release branch v1.2.x" as rel2

    -3 is development
    @0 <-> @8 : release cadence: ~9 months

    0 is rc1
    main -> rel1 : start
    +1 is rc2
    +1 is v1.1.0
    +1 is {-}
    rel1 -> main : back port
    +1 is v1.1.1 #pink
    +1 is {-}
    rel1 -> main : cherry-pick
    +3 is END #white
    +1 is {hidden}

    8 is rc1
    main -> rel2 : start
    +1 is v1.2.0
    +1 is {-}

    rel2 -> main : back port

    @0 <-> @3 : release process
    @4 <-> @5 : hotfix

caption Release process


Although this document specifies the release cadence, this does not preclude an adhoc release for specific project requirements.


When a new release starts the previous release branch obsoletes and is a subject for removal as shown for v1.1.x on the diagram above. At any moment only the latest release branch is maintained. The release tags will point to a commit in detached head state.

Release Version Scheme

Trusted Firmware-M uses a semantic versioning scheme. A version number is compiled as a dot separated set of numbers:


  • <MAJOR>: Major release version for significant feature and API changes.

  • <MINOR>: Minor release version for incremental features and API changes.

  • <HOTFIX>: Used only for backporting critical bug fix/security patches.

Long Term Support (LTS)

From v2.1.0, TF-M project will provide LTS branches. Every alternate release will be an LTS release maintained for 3 years. The LTS release will be synchronized with Mbed TLS project to be aligned with LTS releases cadence. Mbed TLS is used as the default cryptography library by the TF-M Crypto service.

The main purpose of TF-M LTS is to offer a maintained and PSA certified TF-M codebase for the whole period of LTS. Without LTS, every TF-M based product has to recall or update PSA certification with changes (especially security fixes) to the codebase. Some changes like fixes for critical bugs or security vulnerabilities are essential to keep a product secure with valid PSA certificates. The recertification is a time and resource-consuming process, putting extra burden on the platform owners. Moreover, this procedure is inefficient and unscalable to be done on a huge number of PSA Certified TF-M platforms.

TF-M intends to centralise PSA certification of the common code and carry it on for an LTS lifetime, ensuring that code is free from known bugs and security vulnerabilities. For this, each LTS branch will be initially PSA certified for a selected reference platform and recertified again on every TF-M release. Please see the process<link> below for the details. All platforms, based on LTS version can hold PSA certification obtained once without a need for recertification on updates if no vulnerability is found in a platform specific code.

LTS content

On every TF-M release the following items are backported from the release branch to active LTS branches:

  • Critical bugs

  • Security vulnerability fixes

  • A new platform port with code changes restricted to the relevant platform folder only.

A full release cycle is performed on each updated LTS branch. If no items above were delivered to the main branch since the last release, then LTS branches remain unchanged with valid PSA certificate for that version.

Frequency and duration

  • A new LTS branch is created on every other TF-M release i.e. every 18 months.

  • Each LTS branch is maintained for 3 years.

hide time-axis

concise "main branch" as main
concise "release branch v2.1.x (LTS)" as lts21
concise "release branch v2.2.x" as rel22
concise "release branch v2.3.x (LTS)" as lts23
concise "release branch v2.4.x" as rel24
concise "release branch v2.5.x (LTS)" as lts25

    -1 is development
    @0 <-> @6 : release cadence: ~9 months

    0 is v2.1.0
    main -> lts21 : start
    +1 is "PSA cert" #aquamarine
    +2 is "v2.1.0-LTS"
    +2 is {-}
    +19 is END #white

    6 is v2.2.0
    main -> rel22 : start
    +1 is {-}
    +1 is v2.2.1 #pink
    +1 is {-}
    rel22 -> main : back port
    rel22 -> lts21 : back port
    +3 is END #white
    +1 is {hidden}

    12 is v2.3.0
    main -> lts23 : start
    +1 is "PSA cert" #aquamarine
    +2 is "v2.3.0-LTS"
    +2 is {-}

    @8 <-> @9 : hotfix

    18 is v2.4.0
    main -> rel24 : start
    +1 is {-}
    +2 is v2.4.1 #pink
    +1 is {-}
    rel24 -> main : back port
    rel24 -> lts21 : back port
    rel24 -> lts23 : back port
    +2 is END #white

    @0 <-> @12 : LTS release every 18 months

    24 is v2.5.0
    main -> lts25 : start

    @0 <-> @24 : LTS lifetime: 3 years

caption Long Time Support (LTS) process


LTS usage scenario

  • Once released, the code (ex:TF-MvX.Y.Z) is submitted for PSA certification using the reference platform Musca-B1 Platform Specifics.

  • After obtaining PSA certification the release branch is tagged TF-MvX.Y.Z-LTS creating a base for PSA certification of downstream projects.

  • Ad hoc security fixes on the current release branch resulting in a new TF-M release will be backported to LTS branches under maintenance with consequent minor releases on them. Each LTS minor release may be a subject for PSA recertification with evaluation of the code changes (delta certification).

  • Platform independent TF-M fixes are evaluated once & available to PSA Certified platforms on the new LTS release for rebase without the need for individual recertification.

  • Bug fixes (other than security fixes) are backported from the main branch to active LTS branches and made part of the next regular release. The LTS release will be subject to PSA Certification.


  1. What if the release (e.g. TF-MvX.Y.Z) fails PSA certification?

    A failure on PSA certification means a critical bug or vulnerability and requires code modification in the form of a hot fix followed by a new minor release.

  2. What is time gap between release and LTS tag?

    It depends on PSA Lab Certification Body but is expected to be about 1 month.

  3. What if a security vulnerability is found in platform-specific code?

    A vulnerable platform shall provide a fix for it and perform PSA certification independently.

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