Green Hills Software Adds Support for the Heterogeneous NXP i.MX 8 Application Processors in Airborne Safety- and Security-Critical Systems

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 19, 2020 — Green Hills Software, the worldwide leader in high-assurance operating systems, today announced that its INTEGRITY-178 Time-Variant Unified Multi-Processing (tuMP) RTOS now supports heterogeneous multicore operation on NXP Semiconductor's i.MX 8 applications processors across Arm® Cortex®-A72 and Cortex-A53 cores for airborne safety-critical and security-critical systems.

Using the bound multi-processing (BMP) and symmetric multi-processing (SMP) capabilities in INTEGRITY-178 tuMP, a system architect can assign an application to a particular core or a multi-threaded application to execute across multiple cores of a particular type to maximize multicore utilization while minimizing power consumption.

“NXP Semiconductors is committed to providing multicore processors with advanced features to meet the needs of avionics applications,” said Jeff Steinheider, Director, Global Industrial Applications Processor Product Marketing for NXP Semiconductors. “The unique multi-processing capabilities built into the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP RTOS make it ideal for exploiting the heterogeneous processing of the i.MX 8 applications processor in airborne safety- and security-critical systems.”

NXP i.MX 8 applications processors have several features that are useful for avionics, airborne mission computers, and cockpit displays, including SWaP-optimized heterogeneous processing, quad-display functionality, low soft-error rate, and product supply longevity. With four Cortex-A53 cores and two Cortex-A72 cores, the i.MX 8QuadMax enables power consumption optimization by matching the performance requirements of each application task to the performance capacities of the different cores. For cockpit displays and other graphics applications, the processor can drive up to four 1080p screens with independent content. The low soft-error rate of i.MX 8 processors results from a robust 28 nm FDSOI manufacturing process, which has inherently high immunity to alpha particle flux and enables high MTBF. Along with many of NXP’s product families, the i.MX 8 processors have a minimum of 10-15 years of product supply longevity.

Certifying multicore processors for airborne safety can be quite challenging due to the inherent contention from multiple cores trying to access a given shared resource, such as memory or I/O. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP includes both a fully capable multicore scheduler and support for bandwidth allocation and management of shared processor resource access. The supported bandwidth management technique emulates a high-rate hardware-based approach to ensure continuous allocation enforcement. These capabilities greatly lower integration and certification risks while also enabling integrators to gain the maximum performance advantages of multicore processors.

The INTEGRITY-178 tuMP safety- and security-critical RTOS is designed to simultaneously meet DO-178B/C design assurance level (DAL) A and the separation kernel protection profile (SKPP) as defined by the NSA. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is a multicore RTOS with support for any mixture of asymmetric multi-processing (AMP), SMP, and BMP. Specifically, it includes support for running a multi-threaded DO-178C DAL A partition across multiple processor cores in SMP or BMP configurations as required in ARINC 653 Part 1, Supplements 4 and 5. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP was the first RTOS to be certified conformant to the FACE Technical Standard, edition 3.0, and remains the only one conformant for all three avionics processor architectures: Arm, Intel®, and Power Architecture®.

About Green Hills Software
Founded in 1982, Green Hills Software is the worldwide leader in embedded safety and security. In 2008, the Green Hills INTEGRITY-178 RTOS was the first and only operating system to be certified by NIAP (National Information Assurance Partnership comprised of NSA & NIST) to EAL 6+, High Robustness, the highest level of security ever achieved for any software product. Our open architecture, integrated development solutions address deeply embedded, absolute security and high-reliability applications for the military/avionics, medical, industrial, automotive, networking, consumer and other markets that demand industry-certified solutions. Green Hills Software is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, with European headquarters in the United Kingdom. Visit Green Hills Software at www.ghs.com.

Green Hills, the Green Hills logo, INTEGRITY and tuMP are trademarks or registered trademarks of Green Hills Software, in the U.S. and/or internationally. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.