Multi-Core Interference Can Increase Avionics Execution Times Tenfold, Green Hills Software Says

Multi-core interference can increase avionics system task execution times tenfold or more, according to Green Hills Software.

“We definitely have some strong viewpoints on multi-core interference,” Richard Jaenicke, the marketing director of safety and security-critical products for Green Hills Software, told Avionics International in a March 11 telephone interview. “We’ve been pounding the drums for a while saying it’s a big problem. It’s actually taken a while for people to acknowledge that it’s not just a little problem, but a big problem.”

Green Hills has a stock of special libraries that generate interference so you can put an application on one core and then run these interference libraries on the other cores and see what’s the worst case for how much interference is caused and the worst case execution time, according to Jaenicke.

“We’ve seen that it can be 10 times, not just two to three times worse, with only one interfering core that’s doing a lot of interfering and 12 times worse, if you add in some more cores, Jaenicke said. “It can be a very big problem.”

Green Hills’ INTEGRITY-178 Time-Variant Unified Multi Processing (tuMP) Real Time Operating System (RTOS) uses Bandwidth Allocation and Monitoring (BAM) technology to enable the software architect to control access to shared resources by each processor core to reduce interference, the company said.

Last week, a Northrop Grumman executive discussed details with Avionics of a $59 million contract with the U.S. Air Force that features the development of an upgraded embedded GPS system for Northrop E-2D Hawkeye and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor aircraft that will run on the INTEGRITY-178 Time-Variant Unified Multi Processing (tuMP) RTOS with a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 central processing unit for the embedded GPS/INS-modernization (EGI-M) program. The latter, which began in 2018, is an effort to provide E-2Ds and F-22s an open-system architecture for the rapid integration of new capabilities.