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Introducing the first certification-ready multicore timing analysis solution

An EU-funded project has brought to market innovative technology that verifies software running on multicore processors. The technology is now making the use of these processors in the aerospace and automotive sectors a reality.

Digital Economy

Whether you are flying or driving, getting to your destination safely is depending more and more on computers and the complex software they run. The software needed to control advanced functions such as a plane’s flight management system or a car’s parking assist system can only be handled by multicore processors that make it possible for several applications to run at the same time. However, this ability has a disruptive effect on timing analysis, which is used to determine if a particular multicore system allows running software components to function correctly and complete their execution within specific time constraints. The EU-funded MASTECS project has now developed the first certification-ready timing analysis solution that can handle the complexity of safety-critical multicore systems – systems whose failure or malfunction could lead to death, serious injury, or property loss or damage. The solution combines cutting-edge software analysis tools, tool qualification and documentation to support certification and safety assessments, and expert engineering services to support the analysis of multicore processor timing behaviour. These tools and services support both the aerospace and automotive sectors, in which safety standards and certification requirements are very important. “The multicore timing analysis workflow builds on the use of specialized micro-benchmarks that create interference on multicore processors and demonstrate the possible effect that such interference can have on software,” reports a press release posted on the MASTECS project website. “The workflow also features a task contention model that provides early estimates of the contention delay suffered by tasks. A 7-step design methodology was also developed to fully understand and characterize the impact of interference on timing behaviour.”

Huge benefits in store for automotive and avionics industries

The MASTECS solution will help to improve safety by reducing the number of accidents on the roads and in the skies, increase car and plane efficiency by reducing their CO2 profile, and make transportation more accessible and less time-consuming. “Despite the pandemic, MASTECS has accomplished its objective of maturing the multicore technology to a state that is now commercially available,” observes Francisco J. Cazorla of MASTECS project coordinator Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain, in the same press release. “This will bring huge benefits to EU companies in domains like avionics and automotive by helping them to adopt multicore processors in their products.” Since its launch in December 2019, the 2-year MASTECS (Multicore Analysis Service and Tools for Embedded Critical Systems) project has brought to market new commercial technologies that solve the challenges of multicore timing analysis. It has also led to the creation of a new spinoff company, Maspatechnologies, providing multicore performance and timing analysis services. Other achievements include the creation of new high-tech jobs and the enhancement of project partners’ capabilities in terms of new tools and technologies and a new understanding of reliable multicore systems. For more information, please see: MASTECS project website

Keywords

MASTECS, processor, multicore processor, timing analysis, software, aerospace, automotive, avionics

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