Multicore Certification at SAE Aerospace Systems and Technology Conference 2016

Multicore Certification at SAE Aerospace Systems and Technology Conference 2016

Alex Wilson

As I mentioned in my last blog, this year’s SAE ASTC had the theme “Innovation in Propulsion Technologies and Intelligent Aircraft Systems” and took place in Hartford, Connecticut, and was hosted by United Technologies, with further sponsorship from Boeing and TTTech.

For Wind River, the main discussion of interest was around certification of multicore devices, and for that I took part in a panel discussion and also presented an update on our work with multicore.

The panel discussion was hosted by Mirko Jakovljevic of TTTech, with myself, Marc Gatti of Thales, and Tammy Reeve of Patmos Engineering Services. The goal of the panel was to have a high level discussion on the use of multicore devices in safety critical avionics applications. Mirko set the scene, with an overview of multicore devices, and some key points around the fact that it is getting harder to get single core devices, and that multicore is needed for price/performance.

Marc gave us a very useful update on the EASA CRI that has now been released for use with multicore devices. This is the latest guidance from EASA that goes to the next step beyond the FAA CAST-32 paper.

Tammy, as a DER, gave us great insight into an approach using the current guidance, and although this would be challenging, is not an impossible task, with some systems already in process or completed certification.

I gave an overview of the CAST-32 paper from the FAA, and also looked at how RTCA DO-297 would need to be used to assign roles and responsibilities when following the guidance in CAST-32.

This led to a lively discussion with the audience about how to go about this process, the conclusion being that we need to work as an industry, with the FAA and Silicon manufacturers to achieve our goal, and that there is no simple solution that will meet all of the requirements of all multicore devices.

For my technical session, I took this these a little further and covered issues found in our lab testing of multicore devices, showing some of the shared resource challenges you would face. The session also had a great presentation from Rapita Systems, on WCET for multicore devices, and some research work being carried out by Thales and TTTech.

There is a lot more data on the use of VxWorks 653 with multicore processors in our white paper.

If you would like to present a paper at the next SAE event please submit an abstract at