Evaluation of Key Certification Aspects of Multi Core Platforms for Safety Critical Applications in Avionics Industry 2015-01-2524
Multi core platforms offer high performance at low power and have been deemed as future of size, weight and power constrained applications like avionics safety critical applications. Multi core platforms are widely used in non-real time systems where the average case performance is desired like in consumer electronics, telecom domains. Despite these advantages, multi core platforms (hardware and software) pose significant certification challenges for safety critical applications and hence there has been limited usage in avionics and other safety critical applications. Many multicore platform solutions which can be certified to DO-254 & DO 178B Level A are commercially available. There is a need to evaluate these platforms w.r.t certification requirements before deploying them in the safety critical systems thereby reducing the program risks. This paper discusses the advantages of multi core platforms in terms of performance, power consumption and weight/size. Certification challenges in providing the evidence for robust partitioning in space and time, inter-partition/ inter-core communication, Worst Case Execution Time (WCET) estimation, Fault containment, Error detection and handling are discussed. This paper aims to identify key aspects (e.g. interconnect architecture, scheduling policy) and measures of performance (e.g. ratio of ACET to WCET), which needs to be analyzed for a given platform and strategies to evaluate the same are presented. Process of evaluation could provide required insights which will aid system architects and platform designers to identify potential safety challenges and develop mitigation techniques and incorporate safety mechanisms into systems architecture and platform design. Evaluation results could be used as guidance for selection of multi-core platform for use in safety critical applications.