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Friday, May 13, 2011

Green Hills designs new scheduler for multicore version of its secure INTEGRITY-178B operating system

DO-178B level A and SKPP/EAL6+ compliant operating systems for a multicore RTOS on Freescle QorIQ 

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

The latest version of the INTEGRITY-178B real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software supports multicore processors with initial availability on Freescale Semiconductor’s family of QorIQ processors.
Green Hills has developed a patent-pending approach to multicore processor scheduling called Time-variant Unified Multiprocessing (tuMP, pronounced “2-MP”) that supports robust partitioning and multi-level-secure operating system support across multiple cores in an operating environment that supports the combination of Asynchronous Multiprocessing (AMP) and Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP).
For developers of real-time embedded computing systems with security- and/or safety-critical computing requirements, the advent of multicore processors has created a fundamental problem: how to develop, integrate or port previously independent applications running on single-core processors to an operating environment where these independent applications operate on a processor containing two or more independent processing cores with shared system resources. Several multicore operating system paradigms have been developed in the past, including Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP), where each core runs a completely independent executable; Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP), where an executable is designed to make use of multiple cores simultaneously; and combinations of both (some cores used for AMP, other cores used for SMP). The rigidness of these approaches is evident when attempting to integrate additional applications into a multicore processor-based platform.
The latest version of INTEGRITY-178B builds upon its ten-year service history and certification in critical airborne avionics, communications and flight control systems by adding support for multiple independent safety- and/or security-critical applications to execute on a multicore operating environment in a predictable and bounded manner such that the application independence is retained even when sharing a processor’s multiple cores and other system resources.

Affinity Groups As any single core in a multicore processor may provide more execution capabilities than any single application requires, and since some of these applications may be designed to utilize multiple cores simultaneously, Green Hills has extended its partition scheduler design to give in a single OS (i.e. unified) that provides practical time variant scheduling of both AMP and SMP applications simultaneously by enabling the association of cores and applications into groupings (called Affinity Groups) corresponding to some intended function (or functions). These Affinity Groups define how cores will be utilized by one or more applications, with the Affinity Groups (grouping of cores and applications) being permitted to vary over time. Affinity Groups may be scheduled independent of other Affinity Groups, permitting time-lines that closely correspond to application requirements, yet also permitting other sets of Affinity Groups to be developed that can make use of any of the time windows where cores are not being utilized. Any new application (or extension of an existing application) can make use of the unallocated execution time across the entire multicore processor.
The INTEGRITY-178B for multicore architectures is initially available for Freescale Semiconductor’s family of QorIQ processors with P4080 support available first. INTEGRITY-178B is also available with Green Hills Software’s MULTI/AdaMULTI integrated development environment (including optimizing C, C++ and Ada95 compilers).
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