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Aerospace & Defense
Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace

Collaborating to Develop the World’s First Multi-core Design Safety Certified for Avionics on Multiple Cores

Currently undergoing DO-178C DAL A certification on multiple cores

Video: The Road to Multi-core Certification

No multi-core design had ever before been certified to avionics safety standards at the highest level of criticality on multiple cores. Creating one had the potential to fundamentally change the industry.

THE OBJECTIVE

Multi-core products provide greater processing capability in a smaller footprint, reducing costs associated with size, weight, and power (SWaP) and boosting performance. Collins Aerospace and Wind River® identified a clear need for a higher-performance software virtualization platform with an open systems architecture for avionics. This platform also needed to host new applications, consolidate legacy applications, and be highly deterministic. It needed to be able to support the vision of autonomous and optionally piloted aircraft, as well as achieve the highest levels of avionics safety certification. But no multi-core design had ever been certified to avionics safety standards at the highest level of criticality on multiple cores. Creating one had the potential to fundamentally change the industry.

HOW WIND RIVER HELPED

Wind River and Collins Aerospace collaborated on design, problem solving, and involving certification authorities in their plans to achieve FAA CAST-32A multi-core certification objectives as part of the DO-178C DAL A certification process. To maximize flexibility for future development, they chose VxWorks® 653 Multi-core Edition, which enables multiple guest operating systems to run on a single hardware platform at different levels of safety criticality.

THE RESULTS

Together, Collins Aerospace and Wind River greatly reduced technical and program certification risks while increasing the available processing resources. Their collaborative approach to achieving DO-178C DAL A certification on multi-core is shared in a detailed white paper, along with technical insights and best practices. In addition, Collins Aerospace and Wind River were selected to present their conference papers at Safety-Critical Systems Symposium (SSS’19), Avionics Expo, and SAE AeroTech Americas.