April 2022, Volume 24 – Number 4 • cotsjournalonline.com
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
Deterministic Software Solutions for Complex Architectures Involving Software-Defined Radio (SDR) Transforming 64-Bit Windows to Deliver Software-Only Real-Time Performance
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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing COTS (kots), n. 1. Commercial off-the-shelf. Terminology popularized in 1994 within U.S. DoD by SECDEF Wm. Perry’s “Perry Memo” that changed military industry purchasing and design guidelines, making Mil-Specs acceptable only by waiver. COTS is generally defined for technology, goods and services as: a) using commercial business practices and specifications, b) not developed under government funding, c) offered for sale to the general market, d) still must meet the program ORD. 2. Commercial business practices include the accepted practice of customer-paid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements.
—Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for he U.S. Military, COTS is a procurement philosophy and does not imply commercial, office environment or any other durability grade. E.g., rad-hard components designed and offered for sale to the general market are COTS if they were developed by the company and not under government funding.
SPECIAL FEATURES 16
Deterministic Software Solutions for Complex Architectures Involving Software-Defined Radio (SDR) By Brandon Malatest, Chief Executive Officer, Per Vices
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT 20
DEPARTMENTS 6 8
Publisher’s Note Investment Casting: “Digital Foundry” Technology Dramatically Reduces Cost, Lead Time The Inside Track
Transforming 64-Bit Windows to Deliver Software-Only Real-Time Performance By Jeffery Hibbard, Chief executive officer - Intervalzero
COT’S PICKS 24
Editor’s Choice for April
Cover Image GROTON, Conn. - General Dynamics Electric Boat, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded two U.S. Navy contracts this week for total of $251 million.
COTS Journal | April 2022
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
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By Guest Author, Jeff Elliott - based technical writer. He has researched and written about industrial technologies and issues for the past 20 years.
Technology Dramatically Reduces Cost, Lead Time
In modern aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines (IGT), investment cast parts are made of expensive superalloys to withstand the extreme thermal, mechanical, and chemical loads experienced by these hot gas path components. For decades, these high value parts have been made through a labor-intensive, multi-step lost-wax investment casting process. This approach requires twelve separate steps to produce finished castings. Given the time and investment, many turbine OEMs avoid design changes once a part is in production. Now, a new category of “digital foundry” technology significantly cuts lead times and costs when creating the complex parts found in jet engines and IGT turbines. The modern process delivers the convenience and speed of ceramic 3D printing to create the molds, with the precision of investment casting. The solution is ideal for turbine parts due to the feature resolution, overall build level, and ability to produce parts at production volumes. Compared to traditional investment casting, the technology can lower the cost of manufacturing parts by over 50% and decrease lead times for new or modified parts by a factor of ten. The more complex the part, the greater the reduction in cost and lead time since it is very difficult to produce complex geometries with traditional tool and die methods in the lost-wax investment casting process. The technology can produce precision investment castings of complex engineered components without any up-front investment in hard tooling and without any patterns using 3D printed ceramic shell molds. The fully automated, digital printing technology is engineered to 6
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produce parts that are equivalent to those using traditional investment casting in properties, surface finish, and dimensional accuracy. Investment Casting Market Growth and Innovation The global investment casting market size was estimated at USD 20.99 billion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 31.07 billion by 2027 according to Research and Markets, a global market research provider with 450+ of the Fortune 500 Clients. As drivers of growth, the research firm cites rising demand from the aerospace and defense industry, the use of investment casting in the automotive and transportation industry to develop advanced components, and increasing application in industrial machinery. In the U.S., the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) of the Executive Office recently released an updated list of Critical and Emerging Technologies significant to national security that includes advanced gas turbine engine technologies. The NSTC is a cabinet-level council of advisers to the President on science and technology. However, one challenge to the expected growth of the investment casting market has been the high fixed costs of traditional part design and development. “Today, the overriding goal of aircraft jet engine and IGT manufacturers is to continue to seek new ways to incrementally increase turbine efficiency. However, even large OEMs are leery of designing new parts that require an investment of millions of dollars for new tooling when a part is unproven,” says Suman Das, founder and CEO of DDM Systems,
The Digital Foundry™ from DDM Systems combines ceramic 3D printing technology with traditional casting techniquesto create high value turbine parts, while reducing both the cost and lead time to full production.
The Digital Foundry™ solution is ideal for complex turbine parts due to the feature resolution, overall build level, and ability to produce parts at production volumes.
The fully automated digital printing technology from DDM Systems is engineered to produce parts that are equivalent to those using traditional investment casting in properties, surface finish, and dimensional accuracy.
an Atlanta, GA-based manufacturer of complex metal components for diverse industries.
feature resolution available in the industry for ceramic 3D printing utilizing UV-cured resins.
The company’s Digital Foundry™ can produce optimized, 3D-printed “ready to pour” ceramic shells based on more than twenty-five patents covering equipment and methods in half a dozen countries. Once the molds are created, traditional investment casting techniques are used to create parts in production quantities.
With this approach, a Digital Foundry can respond quickly to part design changes or begin casting new parts in as little as ten days. At a traditional investment casting foundry, the lead time for first parts can take up to 52 to 80 weeks for the most sophisticated, high-performance castings.
“The first step is to take a customer-supplied CAD model and use it to design, and then 3D print it to create ceramic shells with integrated cores that are ‘ready to pour.’ There is no up-front investment in hard tooling and no patterns are required. The shells are poured utilizing the usual investment casting methods with unprecedented speed and precision in production volumes,” explains Das.
By eliminating much of the cost and time, jet engine and IGT turbine manufacturers can cast a range of design variants to conduct qualification and “rainbow wheel” tests to optimize the design of blades, inlet guide vanes (IGVs), housings, shafts, and other hot gas path parts.
The process used to create the ceramic shell is called LAMP™ (Large Area Maskless Photopolymerization). The technology uses a ceramic resin that is cured with UV light to produce shell molds with integrated cores, layer-by-layer. In LAMP, the 3D “printer head” projects images in ultraviolet light onto the resin, causing it to solidify in patterns corresponding to slices of the shell. The ceramic structures that result can achieve the high level of detail expected of investment casting cores and molds. Once the ceramic shells are printed, they must go through a thermal processing step using well-established techniques for firing ceramics. DDM possesses trade secrets related to the ceramic formulation and firing. According to Das, there is significant reduction in costs since the LAMP process eliminates seven of the twelve steps typically required to produce a traditional investment casting shell. These seven steps account for 90% of all the sources of scrap and approximately one-third of the total manufacturing cost of producing an investment casting. With the 3D printing technology, the ceramic shell is made in a single step. The LAMP machine has an adjustable build platform that can be configured to 24x24x20 in. (600mm x 600mm x 500mm) for production scale. This is the largest print platform with the finest
The printed ceramic shell is compatible with all air-melt and vacuummelt foundry processes. So, OEMs that operate their own investment casting foundries can install DDM Digital Foundry to create the molds and do the casting with existing equipment. Third party foundries can do the same, with a relatively modest investment to immediately increase capacity, speed production, and reduce lead times. DDM has completed third party qualification with castings made in over half a dozen alloys poured in foundries across the U.S. These meet all the required criteria for acceptability as published by the Investment Casting Institute. Today, the digital foundry process can produce parts in hundreds of standard air-melt steel, aluminum, and vacuum-melt nickel alloys. Airmelt Alloys currently qualified include Stainless Steel 304, 316, 17-4 PH, 15-5 PH, and Austenitic Steel CF3M (wrought equivalent SS316); S7 Tool Steel; Aluminum A356 and A357; and Air-Melt Inconel 625. Vacuummelt alloys currently qualified include IN 718, IN 713LC, Rene 141, and CMSX-4. Although the conventional lost-wax investment casting process has been used for decades, foundries that take advantage of digital foundry technology will have a competitive edge in meeting the increasing demand for complex parts with minimal cost and lead time. For more information, call 470-225-6987; visit www.ddmsys.com. COTS Journal | April 2022
Mercury Systems was selected to provide secure packaging for the DoD SHIP program Mercury Systems, Inc. announced it has been selected to provide trusted and secure advanced packaging for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s (OUSD R&E), State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integrated Packaging (SHIP) program. The Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) was awarded by NSWC Crane with National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL) as the Consortium Manager. The SHIP program is part of the Department of Defense initiative to advance and strengthen the American microelectronics industrial base to ensure the U.S. has access to advanced capabilities in domestic facilities and quantifiably assured microelectronics technology fundamental to key technologies, including AI, 5G communication, and hypersonics.
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Why It Matters Historically, the DoD has been limited in its ability to work with industry-leading technology developers, stymied by previous security models. The SHIP program represents a shift in approach by directly engaging with companies like Mercury to develop trusted, secure, and more cost-effective ways to design, manufacture, assemble and test in-package integration of mission-critical system components. “For decades, Mercury has been in a unique position, through our partnerships with commercial technology industry leaders and DoD customers, to deliver uncompromised solutions to the aerospace and defense industry,” said Tom Smelker, vice president and general man-
ager, Mercury Microsystems. “Programs like SHIP are expanding our ability to partner with our government, allowing them access to our investments in onshore trusted microelectronics and our expertise in secure, heterogeneous packaging to realize the DOD’s forward-looking commitment to accelerating innovation. We’re honored by and excited for this opportunity.” In 2019, Mercury announced a strategic investment in 2.5D and 3D custom microelectronics as part of its effort to bring cutting-edge commercial silicon technology to customers, including the DoD. The Company will be holding an official opening of its advanced packaging facility in Phoenix on April 20, 2022.
MegaChips Focuses on Edge AI with Custom ASIC Solutions
Japan’s Largest ASIC Company Expands to U.S. Market
MegaChips announced the launch of its AI Partner Program, which allows companies to integrate powerful AI capabilities without requiring in-house AI experts, allowing vendors to focus on their key strengths and ensuring top quality for the final product. The AI Partner Program marks the entry of MegaChips into the global Edge AI chips market, which was valued at $9 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $59.6 billion by 2030 - an average growth rate of 21.2%. “The AI chip industry is going through many changes, including a pivot from a saturated data center market to emerging use cases for integrated processors, such as the ones you’d find in smart devices”, asserts Adrien Sanchez, Technology & Market Analyst, Computing at Yole Développement (Yole). “Edge AI chips benefit companies by allowing them to analyze data from connected devices without sending massive amounts of data into the cloud, which often results in massive costs
$22 million contract to supply aircraft survivability equipments BAE Systems has received a $22 million award to supply the AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and associated equipment as part of a U.S. Foreign
and potential security risks.” (1) For systems companies, some benefits of the MegaChips AI Partner Program include a dedicated team of engineers that work collaboratively with customers to identify the best ways to implement desired AI functionalities, custom “proof of concept” demonstrations, and optimization strategy in the context of a complete system. For IP and ASSP vendors, MegaChips eliminates the need for hiring inhouse back-end chip implementation teams. MegaChips is also announcing its expansion into the U.S. market after extensive success in Japan. MegaChips is now delivering its full-service ASIC solution in the U.S. and offering off-the-shelf access to industry-standard IP components and secure, in-house design services along with full manufacturing support.
Military Sales contract. The deal – facilitated by the U.S. Army – is for the production and delivery of CMWS for a fleet of Apache helicopters. The CMWS alerts crews to incoming hostile fire and missile threats, automatically coordinate and cues countermeasures,
“MegaChips is thrilled to offer the most turn-key solution for enterprise companies looking to implement AI technology,” said Douglas Fairbairn, Director of Business Development. “The expansion to the United States is an excellent opportunity for us to bring our edge AI expertise to some of the most innovative technology companies. Be it sensing, voice and image recognition, or other applications, MegaChips is the first and best choice for implementing Edge AI from ideation to silicon.”
and enables data recording capabilities for post-mission analysis. The fleet will leverage BAE Systems’ new Gen3X Electronic Control Unit with updated components that provide increased processing capabilities and longer-term sustainability. “Our Common Missile Warning System is a tried-and-true, electronic warfare system that protects aircraft and their crews in the most complex battlespaces,” said Chris Austin, director of Threat Detection Solutions at BAE Systems. “We are honored to have been selected to provide this critical capability.” Deployed across the U.S. Army’s rotary and fixed-wing fleet, as well as aircraft of 17 allied countries, more than 3,000 CMWS units, have been installed on over 40 different platforms since 2005. The CMWS has logged approximately 4 million combat theater flight hours, saving dozens of aircraft and hundreds of lives in an ever-changing threat environment. COTS Journal | April 2022
BittWare Announces Partner Program to De-Risk Innovation and Reduce Time-to-Market for FPGA-Based Solutions
BittWare introduced a new partner program designed to simplify and streamline customer deployments of high-performance, data-intensive applications. As Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) increase in size, complexity, and performance, organizations grapple with time-consuming, costly, and resource-intensive processes to develop the customized Intellectual Property (IP) and board-level capabilities needed for specific applications. The new BittWare Partner Program removes major time-to-market and technology hurdles by facilitating an ecosystem of FPGA-based enablement IP and full solutions that utilize BittWare’s proven FPGA accelerator technology. “BittWare is taking a leadership role in developing a partner program that empowers FPGA designers to access a robust ecosystem of proven IP cores, tools, frameworks, and solutions from a centralized source,” said Craig Petrie, VP, Sales and Marketing of BittWare. “In doing so, we are uniquely positioned to close critical gaps in the FPGA design process while reducing risk and accelerating commercialization of innovative, high-performance applications.”
Compute: Intel: BittWare leverages the Intel Agilex FPGA technology and oneAPI toolkits to simplify the development of High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications EdgeCortix: an edge AI-focused fabless semiconductor company with a software-first approach, focused on delivering class-leading efficiency and low latency for AI Inference Megh Computing: provider of real-time, AI-based video analytics solutions
Network: Atomic Rules: provider of mission-critical, enterprise-grade IP cores and solutions from the data center to the edge Enyx: developer of ultra-low-latency, FPGA-enabled technologies, and solutions for the financial, telecom, and HPC industries Grovf: developer of application acceleration and network offload solutions using FPGA chips Siama Systems: provider of Ethernet/IP network infrastructure test solutions for the 5G RAN, MEC, and data centers Xiphera: developer of secure and efficient cryptographic IP cores, designed directly for FPGAs
The ecosystem of Collaborators & Innovators The new partner program aligns powerful solutions from industry-leading and emerging IP providers with BittWare’s compute, network, storage, and sensor processing accelerator technologies. In addition to achieving faster outof-the-box functionality, the ability to combine critical components of the FPGA design process reduces engineering and programming requirements, enabling customers to focus in-demand resources on developing unique capabilities. Moreover, customers benefit from the opportunity to collaborate much earlier in the design process to meet the varying demands of powerful next-generation applications, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning inference, database acceleration, computational storage, 5G, test and measurement, and security. The inaugural list of ten partners includes well-established leaders and innovative newcomers focused on solving tough challenges in the following categories: 10
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Supporting Partner Quotes: “We are excited to bring the power of EdgeCortix’s Dynamic Neural Accelerator IP to Intel Agilex FPGAs through the new BittWare Partner Program,” said Sakyasingha Dasgupta, Founder, and CEO of EdgeCortix. “It’s a game-changer on several levels in the AI acceleration market. Together with BittWare, we are delivering a complete solution, from servers to edge boxes, which can be used as ‘drop-in’ replacements for CPUs or GPUs, while improving the performance. From an end-customer perspective, the solutions are easily accessible to software engineers, using standard frameworks like PyTorch, TensorFlow, and ONNX. While, from a performance perspective, our solutions deliver significantly lower inference latency on high-resolution streaming data with up to a 7X performance advantage compared to competing FPGA-based offerings.” “Megh is proud to be part of BittWare’s FPGA partner program,” said Prabhat K. Gupta, CEO of Megh Computing. “Megh provides an AIbased, fully customizable, cross-platform Video Analytics Solution (VAS). The VAS Suite offering supports various use cases to reduce security risks and improve operational efficiencies for smart buildings and smart factories. This offering benefits from the acceleration provided by BittWare’s cards with Intel FPGAs to deliver the highest performance for the lowest TCO.” “IntelliProp is excited to be a part of the BittWare Partner Program to bring value to the storage and memory market by enabling quickto-market, production-ready IP and reference designs targeting robust BittWare hardware platforms,” said Hiren Patel, CEO of IntelliProp. “We feel the IntelliProp NVMe bridge platforms will bring great benefit to our customers who are looking to implement compression, encryption, or other inline computational functions to a solid-state drive (SSD).”
Craig Petrie, VP, Sales and Marketing of BittWare
Storage: Eideticom: developer of computational storage solutions for cloud, HPC, and enterprise data centers IntelliProp: provider of IP cores, ASIC design, and verification services for the storage industry
Members of the new BittWare Partner Program have chosen the company’s enterprise-class accelerators as one of their preferred platforms for the deployment of advanced compute, network, and storage solutions. These significant industry collaborations yield a multitude of benefits, including the ability to decrease development time from up to a year or more to three months or less, as reported by our partner organizations. Additionally, customers gain the peace of mind that performance, quality, reliability, and interoperability have been validated.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Secures its Largest RL10 Engine Contract from United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance awarded the largest RL10 contract ever to Aerojet Rocketdyne to deliver 116 RL10C-X engines for its Vulcan Centaur rocket. The new engines will support ULA as it works to fulfill its commitments under a contract it recently received from Amazon, as part of the largest commercial launch contract in history, to support the launch of its Kuiper satellite constellation. “The RL10 engine is the nation’s premier upper-stage engine and a true workhorse in the industry,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen P. Drake. “With the RL10C-X, we’ve leveraged our industry-leading 3D-printing technology to significantly reduce the cost of the engine while at the same time increasing its performance to provide our customer with enhanced mission capability.” The RL10C-X uses a 3D-printed main injector and main combustion chamber, as
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well as a 94-inch monolithic lightweight composite (carbon-carbon) nozzle. The specific impulse, or Isp, of the RL10C-X, is 461 seconds, which puts it near the very top of the RL10 engine family in terms of performance. Similar to gas mileage in a car, specific impulse measures the amount of thrust generated by a rocket engine per unit of propellant consumed per second. “The RL10 is the highest performance upper-stage rocket engine flying today,” said ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno. “We’re proud to be launching the Kuiper constellation with the next generation of this incredibly reliable and high-performance engine.” The RL10C-X engine is designed, fabricated, assembled, and tested at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Well over 500 RL10 engines have flown in space during nearly six decades of operation. The RL10 engine currently powers the upper stages of ULA’s Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles, and will soon begin supporting ULA’s Vulcan Centaur and NASA’s Space Launch System.
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VAST Federal and Mercury Systems Collaborate to Build Ruggedized Ceres Platform for Military and Defense Operations at the Edge
Leveraging VAST’s Universal Storage data platform and Ceres concept, Mercury will bring advanced data capture and AI computing capabilities to military edge operations
VAST Federal, a VAST Data subsidiary providing government agencies with mission-ready data platform solutions, announced a collaboration with Mercury Systems (NASDAQ: MRCY), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, to deliver rugged, high-performance storage solutions for edgebased data capture and AI computing. Mercury’s upcoming rugged data storage systems will be based on Ceres, VAST Data’s next-generation storage platform concept, and will be purpose-built to meet the unique size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements in the space-constrained platforms typical in land, sea, air, space and cyberspace deployments, where every inch and every ounce matters. Mercury’s new data storage systems will improve performance and simplify serviceability at the edge by using advanced hardware technologies including NVIDIA Bluefield DPUs (data processing units), ruler-based hyper-scale flash drives, and storage-class memory. The addition of a ruggedized hardware enclosure allows VAST and its industry team members to satisfy the data flow demands of C5ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) to achieve ultimate situational awareness from Edge Environments to Ground Station to Centralized Command and Control. Universal Storage protects data throughout the entire C5ISR system so that commanders and their personnel can have reliable and secure access to the data that informs their mission. Additional details on the benefits of the rugged data solutions with Universal Storage will include: High Performance for Mission-Critical Edge Workloads. With Universal Storage as the software foundation, systems deliver the ultimate in data center-class, exabyte-scale network-attached storage (NAS) for edge workloads, empowering military and securi12
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ty personnel to quickly capture and analyze data for a real-time response when faced with national security situations. The Universal Storage data platform is a PCIe Gen4 storage system that maximizes GPU utilization for inference at the edge, accelerating AI applications that run directly on field devices for faster decision making. Additionally, having data processed locally reduces the risk of data being intercepted while in transit to the cloud. Ease of Serviceability While Maintaining System Uptime. Mercury is designing the system so that everything is front serviceable–ruler SSDs, NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, and SCM drives–and can easily be accessed when deployed in a plane, helicopter, submarine, or other space-constrained environments. Universal Storage software lays the foundation for a much more resilient architecture where failures and maintenance are non-disruptive to system operation. Meets Defense Industry’s SWaP Requirements. Whether on land, at sea, in the air, or in space, the system hardware architecture will combine with VAST’s efficiency codes to meet the SWaP requirements of edge computing — packing petabytes of data into SWaP-constrained environments. The solution will also support DC power and will perform in extreme conditions, such as high altitude and humidity levels or environments with heavy vibrations. Enhanced Data Protection for Fast Backup and Restore. To safeguard confidential data against all threats, edge computing systems must have built-in mechanisms to help prevent data losses and breaches, even in the
most remote locations. Universal Storage delivers accelerated edge dataset backups with rapid recovery for mission-critical data and applications. The Indestructible Snapshots feature in VAST’s Universal Storage prevents critical backup copies and snapshots from being altered or destroyed when in a hostile environment. “Our software-based approach allows us to team with best-of-breed technology providers like Mercury to reimagine the storage footprint for a variety of workloads at the edge, including sensor processing, AI, and data analytics,” said Randy Hayes, Vice President, Public Sector of VAST Data Federal. “This collaboration strengthens VAST’s commitment to place software at the heart of modern data infrastructure, and enables actionable insights from multiple field locations that can be sent back to Centralized Command and Control for deeper analysis and long-term data preservation.” “Teaming with VAST Federal aligns well with our approach of rapidly integrating the latest-generation commercial technologies to future-proof A&D solutions and push server-class processing to the tactical edge,” said Dusty Kramer, Vice President and General Manager, Mercury Systems Edge business unit. “Mercury-VAST rugged data Universal Storage solutions combined with our ruggedized Intel® and GPU-based servers enable deployments in distributed, space-constrained locations with SWaP-enhanced efficiency while facilitating AI and data analytics compute power at the edge to ensure crew safety and provide advanced threat assessment.”
DARPA, AFRL, Lockheed Martin, And Aerojet Rocketdyne Team Successfully Demonstrate HAWC, Hypersonic AirBreathing Weapon Concept Historic Hypersonic Flight
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), and Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD) team successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). This historic flight reached speeds over Mach 5, altitudes greater than 65,000 feet and furthers the understanding of operations in the high-speed flight regime. “Our work with DARPA and AFRL on the HAWC program demonstrates that air-breathing hypersonic systems are a cost-effective solution to address rapidly emerging threats in the global security arena,” said John Clark, vice president, and general manager of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®. “The success of this flight test is evidence that a strong partnership between government and industry is key to solving our nation’s most difficult challenges and enabling new capabilities to counter threats to U.S. and allied forces.” Lockheed Martin is proud to support multiple hypersonic systems development projects and is leveraging resources, talents, and lessons learned across the corporation to positively influence outcomes. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is weaving a digital thread throughout the design, test, and manufacturing process to ensure it can produce hypersonic systems at the rates required to meet the warfighter’s needs. Lockheed Martin’s Background in Hypersonic Systems Lockheed Martin has played a significant role in the research, development, and demonstration of hypersonic technologies for close to 60 years. The corporation has made significant investments in the development of critical hypersonic technologies needed to enable operational systems to help the US and its allies counter rapidly emerging threats.
COTS Journal | April 2022
Instrument Flight Rules Airworthiness Release expands the flight envelope for UH-60V
The UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, enabled by the Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed, (NYSE: NOC) OpenLift architecture, has been granted an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Airworthiness Release by the U.S. Army Systems Readiness Directorate. This will allow pilots to fly the UH-60V under all meteorological conditions. “Achieving IFR airworthiness is a major milestone for the UH-60V with OpenLift.,” said Lindsay McEwen, vice president, navigation, targeting, and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “Aircrews can now experience the unique capabilities of this open architecture aircraft under all conditions.” The UH-60V with OpenLift upgrades current UH-60L aircraft, replacing the legacy cockpit with a fully open, digital, and integrated avionics package. The pilot-vehicle interface is nearly identical to that of the UH-60M, enabling common training and operational employment. Open, safe, and secure, the UH-60V has achieved airworthiness for its multicore processor – a first for an Army Black Hawk helicopter. This allows the flight-critical systems to be separated safely from the mission software and en-
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ables the use of third-party applications. OpenLift has been flight demonstrated on the AH-64E Apache and can be extended to other aircraft of the Enduring Fleet, as well as to the planned aircraft of Future Vertical Lift. It is currently exportable for Black Hawk and other platforms.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect, advance, and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.
Aitech Partners with Sidus Space to Provide Critical Communications System for LizzieSat™ Microsatellites C&DH flight computers will serve as the command and control hub of the multi-mission satellite system
Aitech announced its strategic partnership with Sidus Space, Inc. to develop and deliver custom Command and Data Handling (C&DH) flight computers and peripherals for LizzieSat™ microsatellites. Sidus Space is a leading Space-as-a-Service satellite company focused on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection. Its flagship multi-mission microsatellite, LizzieSat, seamlessly links with the Sidus constellation, leveraging the full in-space services of the Sidus fleet. This dramatically enhances the collection
Boeing Debuts High-Throughput Small Satellite Production Facility Boeing unveiled a new high-throughput small satellite production, integration, and test facility designed for efficiency and rapid delivery timelines. Housed in the world’s largest satellite factory, Boeing’s 1-millionsquare-foot El Segundo facility (92,903 square meters), the small satellite production line will be powered by Boeing subsidiary, Millennium Space Systems. “Boeing and Millennium are bringing together Boeing’s production expertise, domain knowledge, and manufacturing capacity with Millennium’s agility and rapid prototyping,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Launch. “We’re scaling and growing to fulfill our customers’ vision for multi-orbit constellations with demand across markets and mission sets.” The companies are applying advanced and additive manufacturing techniques, including 3D printing entire space-qualified satellite buses, to offer faster cycle times while improving performance. “Our customers need satellites on-orbit faster than ever,” Chilton said. “Much like an airplane or auto production line, we’re em1
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and intelligent analysis of space-born data returning richer, more precise data down-to-earth in less time. Anthony Lai, Business and R&D Director for Space at Aitech, noted, “Being a part of Sidus’ strategic initiatives to enable the rapid and affordable deployment of disruptive space technologies aligns with our goal of helping system developers of space electronics realize scalable network connectivity, computing, and storage within each mission platform.” “We have recently received initial components of our core C&DH system development environment from Aitech to support LizzieSat,” said Jamie Adams, Chief Technology Officer for Sidus Space. “The C&DH flight computers are a vital component of LizzieSat as they essentially function as the ‘brain’ of the system.” LizzieSats (LS) are 3D manufactured Low ploying lean production principles and advanced manufacturing techniques to accelerate delivery and pass on cost savings to our customers.” Millennium’s team will staff the small satellite factory, bringing the subsidiary’s proven processes and infrastructure, in addition to environmental test capabilities tailored to small satellites. Boeing will also provide access to extensive environmental and specialty testing capabilities that have qualified some of the most iconic spacecraft, including the first vehicle to make a fully controlled soft landing on the moon and more than 300 satellites. “Millennium’s culture is rooted in creating innovative ways to revolutionize space,” said Jason Kim, chief executive officer, of Millennium Space Systems. “We’re bringing that culture into our facilities, rapidly building large constellations of high-performance
Earth Orbit (LEO) microsatellites focused on rapid, cost-effective development and testing of upcoming innovative spacecraft technologies for multiple customers. LS is a 100kg (220-pound) satellite with the ability to rapidly integrate mission-specific sensors and technologies. Aitech rugged, reliable, and space-rated electronics systems and components are used in a variety of government, commercial and private space programs and have flown trillions of miles and operated over a million hours without failure. The company continues to develop cost-effective COTS-based and custom integrated systems, depending on radiation and mission requirements, giving the company the ability to offer an extensive array of space solutions with the backing of several decades worth of engineering experience. small satellites, taking advantage of a footprint that’s larger than two professional hockey rinks.” Designed to build small satellites for different security levels on the same assembly line, the digitally-defined small satellite factory incorporates model-based systems engineering, digital design engineering, and design for manufacturability. “Understanding security protocols and how to build secure systems is critical to national security space, and this is an area where Millennium and Boeing excel,” said Kim. “We’re excited to leverage this impressive capability to support our customers’ critical missions.”
COTS Journal | April 2022
Deterministic Software Solutions for Complex Architectures Involving Software-Defined Radio (SDR) By Brandon Malatest, Chief Executive Officer, Per Vices
Most of today’s RF communication systems demand software tools that are capable of delivering repeatable performance. Software tools that are designed to give consistent output when the same input is provided are said to be deterministic and exhibit the same behavior every time they are executed. For software defined radio (SDR) systems, determinism is required to ensure that the behavior of a radio system is predictable and consistent. Variations in environment parameters make RF communication systems exhibit non-deterministic characteristics. In this article, we will explore how complex RF communication systems can be realized by combining SDR platforms and software solutions. Next we will focus on how the architecture of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) yields minimal and deterministic latency. We will also discuss how utilizing common software API such as UHD helps to enhance determinism and code portability across multiple SDR systems. This article will also explore how GNU Radio can be used to implement complex SDR systems with deterministic performance. We will also discuss one software tool that allows adjustment of parameters to optimize determinism of a radio communication system. Lastly, this article will focus on a few applications that demand deterministic performance and how SDR systems are used in their implementation. 16
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Deterministic performance of SDRs A typical SDR platform features a radio front-end (RFE) that handles analog signals and a digital back-end that processes digitized signals. The RFE performs transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) functions and is designed to operate over a broad frequency range. The highest bandwidth SDR platforms offer multiple independent channels and a high instantaneous bandwidth, up to 3GHz. High end SDR systems feature an FPGA with a broad range of onboard digital signal processing capabilities including upconverting, downconverting, demodulation, decimation, interpolation, and data packetization. SDR systems use software for a wide range of digital signal processing functions including modulation, demodulation, upconverting and downconverting. These platforms also utilize software for various RFE control operations such as gain setting, sampling rate setting and tuning. SDR platforms also utilize software to interface with various networks that they communicate with. Highest throughput SDRs are capable of sending and receiving data at high speeds over high speed links. Some of the software tools that are commonly used with SDR systems include Hardware Description Languages (HDLs), Universal Hardware Driver (UHD) and GNU Radio. To start with, UHD is an open source driver used for developing custom software tools for controlling and configuring SDR solutions. Software tools that enhance determinism in SDR solutions GNU Radio is an open source toolkit for developing complex digital signal processing (DSP) in SDR systems. Hardware description language (HDL) such as VHDL or Verilog are used for developing custom, ultra-fast and deterministic DSP functions on FPGAs. FPGA designs are analyzed and synthesized using
software tools such as Intel Quartus. SDR systems utilize FPGA for packetizing data for transmission over Ethernet or any other network stack. This requires VITA Radio Transport (VRT) standard which is a protocol that defines the format for transmitting and receiving digitized signals between radio systems. On the application programming interface (API) side, UHD is used to allow development of deterministic software and transmit/receive commands. Deterministic software tools, waveforms and commands can be ported from one SDR device to another without variations in performance. Deterministic waveforms and pulses can be transmitted at predictable time intervals and for specific durations. Deterministic performance also allows execution of various commands such as center frequency, sampling rate, filtering method, broadcasting channels, type of broadcast waveform, and so on. Determinism also aids in controlling parameters in transmit and receive functions such as the number of samples sent to the buffer and the size of the buffer. How FPGAs enhance determinism in SDR solutions FPGAs, unlike CPUs and ASICs, have highly parallel computing architectures that ensure low and deterministic latency. They are capable of performing a wide range of DSP operations on digitized signals. In most RF systems, applications running on host processors offload compute-intensive tasks to FPGAs for faster computation. The computation and storage requirements of a signal processing task increase with an increase in the sampling rate. With an SDR system, captured data can be manipulated
through decimation and interpolation techniques thereby helping to create more space on a storage device while preserving fidelity. Assessing and configuring RF systems using software GNU Radio offers a broad array of tools for controlling and visualizing the signal performance of an RF system. With this software suite, you can visualize the signal in various ways to ensure that you are transmitting or receiving the correct signal. Moreover, GNU Radio allows you to perform a wide range of operations such as Variable Variable Options ID: samp_rate ID: freq ID: top_block Value: 100M Generate Options: WX GUI Value: 5M
pulse shaping and developing modulation and demodulation schemes. By utilizing constellation diagrams, you can assess signals to ensure that modulation scheme errors are minimal and deterministic.
of a signal, synchronization of a signal, presence of undershoots and overshoots and noise level. Figure 1 shows an eye diagram generated using GNU radio.
An eye pattern/diagram is a popular tool for assessing the signal performance of a RF system. This time domain visualization is generated by applying repetitively sampled digital data from a receiver to the vertical input and triggering the horizontal sweep using the data rate. The eye diagram is used for assessing various performance measures including inter-symbol interference, length
Some high performance SDR platforms such as Per Vices Cyan feature a Web user interface (UI) for configuring radio systems to ensure deterministic performance. This UI allows configuration of transmit chain, receive chain and clock board. In the receiver chain, this Web UI allows you to configure a wide range of parameters including synthesizer frequency, RFE receiver gain and attenuation. For the receiver DSP chain, it allows you to set various parameters including sampling rate, destination IP links and DSP NCO offset.
WX GUI Slider ID: phase Default Value: 0 Minmum: 0 Maximum: 6.283 Converter: Float
Rotator Phase Increment: 0
Complex To Real
UHD: USRP Source Samp Rate (Sps): 5M Ch0: Center Freq (Mz): 100M Ch0: Gain Value: 0 Ch0: Antenna: TXRX Ch1: Center Freq (Mz): 100M Ch1: Gain Value: 0 Ch1: Antenna: TXRX
WX GUI Scope Sink Title: Scope Plot Sample Rate: 5M Trigger Mode: Auto Y Axis Label: Counts
Complex To Real
Figure 1: An eye diagram in GNU Radio is shown.
The Tx Web UI allows you to configure the entire transmit chain from the radio front end to the digital back end. Some of the RF parameters that it allows you to configure in the radio section include IQ Voltage Bias, DAC NCO offset, synthesizer frequency, dither and gain. For the Tx DSP chain, this Web UI allows you to set DSP NCO offset, IP/MAC address links, UDP port, and sampling rate. Applications that demand deterministic performance Multiple input multiple output (MIMO) phased arrays are commonly used in modern networks that demand high performance and
The eye diagram is used for assessing various performance measures including inter-symbol interference, length of a signal, synchronization of a signal, presence of undershoots and overshoots and noise level.
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Figure 2: The flow graph (a) and output graph (b) show two channels that have a phase difference. reliability. Using MIMO phased arrays helps to minimize interference and scattering and maximize data transmission rates. The deterministic latency of the FPGAs used in the implementation of MIMO systems help to enhance their overall performance. This deterministic performance also helps to enhance phase coherency in MIMO systems. The architecture of FPGAs also makes it easier to calculate phase coherency adjustments in applications such as radar. By utilizing GNU Radio, you can do visual phase alignment of inputs from different devices that form your MIMO system. All you need to do is select the synchronization settings of your devices using the UHD API and observe the outputs to know if the phases and frequencies are synchronized or not. Furthermore, you can set the timing source of your MIMO system by employing a UHD-based software program. Figure 2 shows a flow graph and an output graph for two channels that are not in phase. Adding a phase correction ensures that the two channels are aligned. High frequency trading (HFT) systems have strict latency requirements and demand networks with deterministic latency performance. The FPGAs used in SDRs have low latency making these radios ideal for developing modem cores for use in trading applications. In addition, the deterministic nature and highly parallel architecture of FPGAs make them an ideal solution for combating round trip latencies in trading systems. In HFT systems, FPGAs are used for executing compute-intensive portions of trading algorithms along with the modulation and demodulation of the data. 18
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Modern wireless and cellular networks such as 5G, machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) networks are time sensitive and demand components with minimal and deterministic latency. In the case of M2M networks, low latency and deterministic performance are required to ensure that message delivery times meet stringent timing constraints. Without deterministic performance, some features of M2M networks such as open loop automation control can be significantly affected. In addition, the reconfigurability of the FPGAs used in SDR platforms allows new wireless communication protocols and DSP algorithms to be implemented with ease. Conclusion Deterministic software tools exhibit a consistent performance and give the same results when provided with the same input. SDRs use software for a wide range of control and signal processing functions. Complex communication architectures can be realized by combining SDRs and software tools such as UHD and GNU Radio. In this article we have learned why software determinism is critical and how complex SDR solutions can be implemented by combining SDR and software. We have also learned some of the applications that demand deterministic performance. Per Vices specializes in the design, development and building of high performance SDR platforms that are suitable for a wide range of applications including low latency links, 5G networks and MIMO radars. Contact email@example.com for more information on how we can meet your SDR needs.
Transforming 64-Bit Windows to Deliver Software-Only Real-Time Performance By Jeffery Hibbard, Chief executive officer - Intervalzero Next-generation industrial, vision, medical and other systems seek to combine high-end graphics and rich user interfaces with hard real-time performance, prioritization and precision. Today’s industrial PCs running 64-bit Windows, complemented by a separate scheduler on multicore multiprocessors, can deliver that precise real-time performance on software-defined peripherals. The pace of advancement in silicon integration and performance continues unabated, driven by the demands of ever-richer applications. That advancement, however, has been taking different directions, especially in the case of the integration of functionality onto single silicon dies. The task for the embedded OEM is to decide how to turn these revolutionary developments into real products that can provide what customers demand. That now includes high-definition audio and video, machine vision, real-time industrial products such as six-axis motion ontrol, real-time connectivity and a rich user interface. That user interface often must also include the ability to present complex realtime graphical data that is linked to the application in real time. Today’s hardware has that capability, but the way to realize it is through software. With processor cores that are powerful enough, there is no need to rely on custom hardware to implement specialized functions; that can now be done with software. Software can be more easily updated and improved than hardware, and it is here where OEMs can implement their real value. And the best way to smooth the task of implementing complex realtime software applications is to start with the right hardware environment. As noted above, hardware integration 20
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has been taking different directions. On the one hand, there is a trend to integrate the kinds of devices used by real-time systems onto a single die. These might include a multicore processor, a DSP, an FPGA or an advanced graphics unit. We have recently seen, for example, devices that integrate processor cores and FPGAs, or processor cores with advanced graphics units that are also capable of intense number computation such as DSP. On the other hand, there is the opportunity to tap into today’s multi-core CPUs, whose tremendous power and performance is the result of multiple cores and, to a smaller extent, clock speeds approaching 3 GHz. These standard commercial off-the-shelf industrial PCs (IPCs) provide platforms that, with some additional performance, prioritization and precision. And with today’s CPUs, this processing can be done in floating point for more diverse calculations than with the fixed point typically found in a DSP. Such performance changes the focus from trying to optimize the use of every instruction to actually fully exploiting the real power of the multicore IPC. This trend has already resulted in devices that can outstrip traditional DSP processors. Another major development in this arena is the move to 64-bit architectures that are backward compatible with their 32-bit redecessors, but which offer enormously enhanced performance. This has several advantages, because even a highly integrated chip with different integrated functions with their different instruction sets and protocols throws up obstacles to a unified software environment, hich adds both hardware hurdles as well as burdens on the development team to circumvent them. The all-new implementation of IntervalZe-
ro’s RTX64 takes the latter path and transforms Windows into a fully functional real-time operating system that runs entirely on x64 multicore hardware. Additionally, in so doing it provides access to 128 Gbytes of non-paged memory, depending on actual mapped physical RAM size. Overall, Windows’ 512 Gbytes of physical memory dwarfs the 4 Gbytes physical memory limitation of 32-bit Windows. This vast amount of available memory opens the door to previously unavailable applications like MRI medical maging and high-end video editing to name a few. Above all, RTX64 provides a single commodity hardware environment in the form of multicore x64 devices. This enables a single software environment that can accommodate Windows with its rich user interface, available applications and development environment. And Windows is seamlessly connected to the full-function real-time symmetric ultiprocessing (SMP) RTX64 environment that can scale from 1 to 63 cores. Applications compile to a single code base with no need for FPGAs or DSPs to execute logic based on different code that must be separately compiled and linked with the main application. One set of hardware, one operating system environment, one set of tools and one base of code. That translates to one team that can communicate and work together and produce high-performance, scalable applications while dramatically shortening time-to-market. A Liberating Unified Architecture Freed from the isolation of the real-time system and from other functions such as the user interface, OEMs are able to explore more innovative solutions with less risk and overhead. For example, consider the user interface. Today’s advanced applications—and their users—are demanding feature-rich, interactive, touch-activated graphical user interfaces. Advanced
embedded systems are far beyond the headless systems of yesteryear. In addition, it is becoming increasingly important to provide a definitive user experience based on that interface, one that can help reinforce product branding. The old way of developing an embedded user interface was to have team design the UI on a desktop system using a graphics program such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or perhaps one of the later tools aimed at embedded systems. The result would be a prototype UI with simulated data and interfaces. That would then be handed off to the team developing the real-time application, and their task would be to implement the UI design under whichever RTOS environment they were using. This inevitably entailed changes and compromises, and testing that was mostly put off until late in the development cycle with predictable effects on time-to-market. Using RTX64, development teams can build their UI with whichever Windows-based tools they choose and be confident that the objects in the interface can communicate directly with the RTX64 APIs, and xchange commands
and data with the embedded application. Any changes to the UI or to the embedded functionality can be quickly traced and updated between the two. The same seamless access to networking, databases and storage can be provided for hard real-time applications under RTX64 because it does not alter Windows in any way, but is a real-time extension to Windows. Thus its communications with Windows are seamlessly integrated and do not depend on mechanisms like remote procedure calls, virtualization, or hypervisors that are associated with other implementations of multiple operating systems. The addition of a second scheduler and an RTOS infrastructure allows UI functions to execute in Windows while real-time functions execute on the RTX scheduler. Putting the right task on the right cheduler delivers the best overall result.
rich user interfaces, all place demands that can only be met by advanced 64-bit systems that can include the rich user interface possible with Windows along with the high performance of a 64-bit RTOS.
RTX64—A Fresh Start into 64-Bit The new RTX64 was built from the ground up to open the world of 64-bit real-time computing, and it is not a port of the 32-bit product. Professional audio and video, high-end medical devices along with advanced industrial control systems that incorporate machine vision and
To start with, RTX64 has a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that is distinct from the Windows HAL, but operates alongside it. Thus, from the start, no modification of Windows is needed. The two systems operate side-by-side and communicate via existing mechanisms. The RTX64 HAL can scale from 1 to 63 cores to deliver deterministic realtime performance with timing down to 1 μs (dependent on hardware support). The scheduler, which resides in the RTX64 real-time subsystem (RTSS), can assign threads to cores to achieve symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) without relying on virtualization or complex interprocess communications.
RTX64 provides an architecture that takes advantage of the advancing echnologies—specifically, high-speed, multicore x64—that can outperform and outscale the traditional embedded environment that relies on DSPs, FPGAs and microcontrollers (Figure 1). It does this by implementing their functions at even higher performance in a single hardware environment. And it can do this in conjunction with Windows, which offers the rich user environment and access to a huge number of applications that can take advantage of and support the real-time operations.
This is also a result of the vast memory space that is available to all cores without memory partitioning. Up to 128 Gbytes of non-paged memory and up to 512 Gbytes of physical memory can be accessed by he entire system. This is a huge advantage for medical applications that increasingly depend on visualization such as the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology now under development, or for real-time surgical robots that depend on accurate rendering and processing of organ images like a beating heart. It is essential for advanced industrial control systems that must not only present visual data to the user, but also process it in real time to drive motion control of tools and also for he inspection of parts produced by the process.
Figure 1: RTX64 provides an architecture that takes advantage of the advancing technologies—specifically, highspeed, multicore x64—that can outperform and outscale the traditional embedded environment that relies on DSPs, FPGAs and microcontrollers.
Having a memory space like this available to such a high-performance general-purpose hardware platform allows OEMs to develop specialized oftware that can perform extremely specialized functions that would ave otherwise required specialized hardware components. Experience has shown that mixing different hardware involves quite different sets of software that depend on different disciplines (e.g., C++ COTS Journal | April 2022
vs. Verilog), which not only greatly slows development time, but also places limits on performance and scalability. Scaling such systems only brings increased complexity with each disparate piece of additional hardware with its own interfaces and unique software needs. The RTX64 real-time subsystem (RTSS), which includes a real-time scheduler, is fully independent from the Windows kernel and the Windows scheduler. There is no inherent interaction or interference of Windows and real-time threads. Only intended communications between threads by the developer can occur using the real-time API. A real-time API is provided for use with user-mode Windows applications, or a real-time kernel API for use with Windows kernel drivers. In scenarios such as those enabled by RTX64, applications can present themselves to the user as common Windows applications, while behind the user interface, many of their features are taking advantage of RTX64 real-time processes. For example, a machine tool control program might present a view of the part being machined along with controls and settings that the user can access via a touch screen. However, the actual application consists of two parts. The Windows program can communicate with the real-time control program on two levels— the kernel and the user level—by means of real-time APIs. At the kernel level, a Windows driver can send data to the RTX64 side, which is perhaps controlling the travel of a tool, and receive current position data, which it then passes to the user interface, or subjects to some sort of processing via a real-time kernel API (RtkApi). At the user level, the operator can set values or the position of switches, etc., on the touch screen and these will communicate with a Windows process. That process in turn uses the real-time API (RtApi) to communicate with the RTSS. These two classes of API communicate directly with the RTSS, which is where the real-time control program resides. As the demand for rich user interfaces for real-time and embedded systems continues to grow, developers are being faced with the dilemma of how to link such interfaces with RTOS environments that are traditionally not designed to support complex user interfaces. We have already mentioned the often-awkward tricks that must be performed to match such an RTOS-based system to a complex user interface.With the RTX64 extension to Windows, it is straightforward to use one’s favorite graphical tools to design a user interface that can link directly to the underlying real-time application 22
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Figure 2: Another approach to AMP is to implement virtualization with a hypervisor, which is a separate layer of software running directly on the hardware that divides the hardware among the operating systems.
using the RTX APIs. Even more attractive to some could be the ability to simply purchase an off-the-shelf software control and data acquisition (SCADA) tool, which comes with many pre-designed but customizable gauges, sliders, switches and representations of pumps, tanks, actuators, etc., and develop from there using the same RTX64 APIs to hook up to the system. The same goes for video data. There is a wide selection of tools and applications that can represent physical phenomena, such as heat distribution, fluid dynamics, stress and more, and they all run under Windows. Image processing applications exist that can do edge detection and other operations needed for parts inspection. The list goes on. The OEM has, at this level of the Windows user interface, a rich selection of “build or buy” options, all of which he can confidently use and/or experiment with knowing that the interface to the underlying real-time application is well-defined and will work out of the box. SMP Paves the Way to Performance and Scalability There are, of course, different schools of thought on how to take advantage of multicore processors. These basically break down into symmetrical multiprocessing (AMP), or virtualization and symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP). One approach to AMP requires that a copy of the perating system run on each of the cores. This then requires assignment if memory to the individual cores and brings with it the need for interprocess communications that add to overhead. If one tries to implement a user interface with Windows the same inefficiencies apply, equiring interprocess communications between Windows and multiple instantiations of RTOSs and memory partitions. Then try processing (under the RTOS) and displaying (under Windows) real-time video data in such a system—involving more IPC—and things clog up very quickly. Scaling the system to more
cores requires more copies of the RTOS, more memory partitioning and reconfiguration of the application. Another approach to AMP is to implement virtualization with a hypervisor, which is a separate layer of software running directly on the hardware that divides the hardware among the operating systems (Figure 2). ome multicore processors even have built-in hardware assistance for virtualization, which basically presents a virtual “motherboard” to each perating system. Virtualization is often used to support “separation kernels,” which are isolated from the rest of the system, communicating only via tightly controlled mechanisms and protocols. This can be useful in certain cases, but its goal is isolation, whereas the goal of SMP is integration. Again, the isolation extends to the user interface, which is running on its own virtual processor or motherboard and must communicate with processes running on other cores via interprocess communications and remote procedure calls, but now also through the hypervisor, which adds even more latency. Additionally, AMP systems have a scheduler for every virtualized operating system. This means additional communication and synchronization that rapidly becomes hugely complex. RTX64 represents a real-time operating system extension to Windows and works with Windows as a single operating system environment that uses the SMP approach to treat the multiprocessor hardware as a single shared resource. It requires only a single copy of the entire operating system environment including the real-time subsystem with its real-time scheduler that has access to all cores assigned to the subsystem (Figure 3). Unlike with AMP, the code can be written once and can be later scaled as functions are added by statically reassigning threads or adding cores and reparti-
systems. A single cable can carry multiple control channels along with safety signals with Safety Inspection Level (SIL) 3 certification. In addition, multiple cores can be dedicated to EtherCAT functionality for truly rich control connectivity, all without the expense and power consumption of additional specialized hardware.
Figure 3: EtherCAT provides for gateways to integrate existing fieldbus components such as CANopen or Profibus. EtherCAT runs under RTX64 in software without the need for any specialized EtherCAT card plugged into the system bus.
tioning. Since all the cores, and hence all the threads, have direct access to shared data and all resources are visible to all real-time processes, there is no need for additional copies or the use of complex interprocess communications schemes or remote procedure calls. The ability to use a single extended operating system environment across a homogenous hardware platform reduces the OEM’s major hardware decision to, “Do I have enough cores to do what I need to do?” or, “How many more cores do I need to add in order to scale this application to the additional functionality I need?” It no longer involves bridging interfaces between disparate hardware elements like FPGAs and DSPs, or adapting code to parts with increased performance but different programming needs. It no longer involves bringing in different hardware specialists to create or upgrade a product. The team defines the performance in terms of a single programming language like C++. And that leads to the additional advantage of having a single set of development tools, such as Windows Visual Studio, for the entire project.Windows serves as the development environment for the entire system—Windows functions as well as real-time coding. And other Windows-based tools can be brought into the mix as well, such as requirements analysis, version control or static analysis tools to name a few. The user mode of the real-time subsystem also includes an RTX64 server console that connects to the RTSS. The real-time crew can also use their favorite real-time debuggers, profilers and analyzers to tweak the real-time subsystem. And they can all communicate and consult with each other in the same terms. Nobody has to learn Verilog or a DSP coding language. Connectivity—Internet and Real Time With the rise of the Internet of Things, connectivity has become a musthave in terms of linking devices to local networks, then to serv-
ers and ultimately to the Cloud. Internet connectivity is simply a given with Windows, and it can be customized to exchange data and commands with the real-time processes as well as provide for a remote user interface for interacting with the systems from virtually anywhere. However, the Windows Internet connection itself is not real time. Yet with the same systems running Windows and the RTX64 real-time extension environment, it is possible to add real-time Ethernet connectivity in the form of EtherCAT, which is an Ethernet-based fieldbus system for control automation technology (CAT) as shown in Figure 4. EtherCAT also provides for gateways to integrate existing fieldbus components such as CANopen or Profibus. EtherCAT runs under RTX64 in software without the need for any specialized EtherCAT card plugged into the system bus. Running on one or more processor cores, EtherCAT communicates directly with whatever network interface chip (NIC) is used in the system. The individual device can be selected during EtherCAT configuration.
IntervalZero’s RTX64 has opened the world to Windows-based real-time systems with highend vision, visualization and rich user interfaces. It has done this by giving the developer the ability to transform the functions of hardware components into software components by harnessing the power of the underlying multicore processing hardware. For the OEM, there is nothing to inventory and the parts can be replicated infinitely. For the software team, there is no need for specialized knowledge of hardware such as DSPs and FPGAs. The code exists in a unified code base and can be managed as such. RTX64 integrates seamlessly into the Microsoft Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment, and deploys to a single integrated Windows system. It extends Windows, delivering hard real-time precision with bounded latency, and it does so with multicore processors as a scalable natively SMP-enabled solution. Its positive effects on cost, time-to-market, inventory, user experience and raw system performance are revolutionary.
EtherCAT represents an attractive alternative to the often complex and expensive wiring schemes associated with industrial control COTS Journal | April 2022
COT’S PICKS Versatile High-Power Bench Top Amplifier
RFMW announces design and sales support for a wideband, benchtop Power Amplifier from RF-Lambda. The REMC02G06GE delivers up to 57.7 dBm of saturated power output over a range of 2 to 6 GHz with 70 dB of small signal gain. Used in various applications ranging from 5G, aerospace, military, T&M, wireless infrastructure, and cellular base stations, the benchtop amplifier is a convenient source of high-power RF energy. The supply voltage is either 110 or 220V AC. The REMC02G06GE EMC power amplifier is loaded with features such as automatic calibration, enabling customers to obtain great performance through time and temperature changes, overvoltage pro-
Cleo Robotics launches reliable ISR solution for GPS-denied environments The Dronut X1 by Cleo Robotics is a portable, rugged and reliable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) solution for GPS-denied environments, making it ideal for defense use cases. Law enforcement benefits from a brilliant device that can help scout areas before deploying officers into high-risk situations. For facility security, the drone is ideal as a flying surveillance camera.
COTS Journal | April 2022
tection, and overcurrent protection. This amplifier’s operating temperature spans -30 to +70⁰C.
RFMW, LTD. www.rfmw.com
Weighing under 16oz ounces and measuring only 6.5” across, the Dronut X1 is the first professional-grade, collision-tolerant, safe-to-touch, intelligent drone built with a patented, enclosed ducted-fan design that prevents damage to its propellers, carries advanced payloads, and can come in direct contact with people without risk of harm. In addition, it can operate around sensitive equipment and in low-light conditions.
tion and a sensor suite built for image and data collection with HD video/pictures and 3D point cloud output. The Dronut X1 pilot assist—powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon—makes flying easier and safer, allowing the operator to focus on collecting the data they need instead of manually managing the drone’s flight. The frame is built from carbon fiber composite materials ensuring durability and reliability even in tight spaces.
The Dronut X1’s industry-leading intelligence and sensing include LiDAR-powered obstacle detec-
Cleo Robotics https://cleorobotics.com/
Start Your Engines: Versal Premium Series Adds AI Engines for “RevvedUp” Signal Processing We’re all revved up and ready to take the green flag on the introduction of the Versal Premium series with AI Engines! Next-generation radar and wireless systems demand high-performance signal processing and the ability to handle massive amounts of data moving in and out of computing devices. The new Versal Premium series with AI Engines are built for those requirements, optimized for signal processing-intensive applications in the aerospace and defense (A&D) and test and measurement (T&M) markets. Primary use-cases include radar applications, signals intelligence, wireless system testing, and wireless device testing. The Versal Premium series with AI Engines is part of our 7nm Versal adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) portfolio including the existing Versal Premium series devices currently shipping to customers. The Versal Premium series with AI Engines delivers a 4X increase in signal processing capacity compared to the lastgeneration Virtex UltraScale+ VU13P FPGA. It also
eliminates I/O bottlenecks with up to 9Tb/s serial bandwidth and offers significantly reduced size, weight, and power through heterogeneous, poweroptimized integration of hardened, ASIC-like cores such as 100G/600G Ethernet cores, 400G HighSpeed Crypto Engines, DDR memory controller, and integrated PCIe Gen5 blocks.
RF machine learning applications like digital RF memory and direction-finding. In the T&M market, Versal Premium with AI Engines addresses the growing demand for wireless testing as part of the global 5G rollout for applications like 5G protocol and production testing, as well as semiconductor automated test equipment.
Versal Premium with AI Engines combines highly advanced signal processing from the proven Versal AI Core series, currently shipping to customers in production volumes, with the massive digital signal processing (DSP) compute capacity and serial bandwidth capacities of the existing Versal Premium series. By combining AI Engines with DSP Engines, users of Versal Premium with AI Engines devices can realize major performance gains compared to prior generation 16nm Xilinx devices and competing products on the market today. The below chart highlights the performance gains for CIN16, FP32, and INT8 acceleration.
And if all that doesn’t get our customers’ motors’ running, the Versal Premium series with AI Engines deliver major performance gains and additional functionality at reduced power and with a smaller footprint. In radar beamforming applications, the heterogenous compute engines enable a 67% smaller footprint and up to 43% lower power with 2X beamforming performance.
By offering the heterogeneous integration of both AI engines and DSP engines, A&D and T&M customers can assign the right compute engine for the right task…from A&D radar applications such as adaptive beamforming to signal processing for
As with all members of the Versal ACAP portfolio, we provide development tools suited for a wide range of developers. We have Vivado ML for hardware developers and our Vitis and Vitis AI development platforms for software developers and AI and data scientists. Customers also have access to AI Engine tutorials and demo designs to help them get up and running more quickly. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. www.amd.com
COTS Journal | April 2022
COT’S PICKS Wind River Achieves Information Security Standards ISO 27001 Certification
Wind River announced that it has achieved ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, in recognition of its proven commitment to the highest level of information security management. Following an extensive audit process, the certification was issued by A-LIGN. Global cybercrime costs are expected to grow by 15 percent per year, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.1 As a result, companies increasingly require additional security certification measures to protect their sensitive information. The ISO 27001 certification provides assurance that Wind River continues to meet increased security requirements and improve its security posture, giving customers confidence the company is maintaining the highest level of security measures.
COTS Journal | April 2022
ISO 27001 is a globally recognized standard mandating numerous controls for the establishment, maintenance, and certification of an information security management system (ISMS). The Wind River ISMS is designed to cover all key areas of a robust information security program with a focus on providing secure product management and services for employees, customers, and partners. Wind River received the certification upon its first ISO attempt, showcasing the completeness and rigor of its information security program. To achieve the ISO 27001 certification, organizations must demonstrate a systematic and documented approach to protecting and managing sensitive company and customer information including intellectual property, employee and customer data, financial information, and information entrusted to them by third parties. “As a company delivering software to mission-critical industries where security is paramount, nothing is more important than
protecting the assets and data of our customers, partners, and employees,” said Rich Kellen, chief information security officer, Wind River. “Earning the most widely recognized information security certification is not only an industry differentiator but also a significant accomplishment and testament to our ongoing and long-standing commitment to the highest level of security.” The scope of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification covers the ISMS supporting Wind River’s people, processes, and technologies related to the provision of customer support and professional services, product management, and information technology services. As security requirements increase, Wind River rises to help customers overcome their cyber requirement challenges by obtaining security certifications such as ISO 27001, Cyber Essential Plus, NIST SP 800-171, and TISAX. Wind River Systems www.windriver.com
COT’S PICKS Solutions for simulating, characterizing, and validating PCIe® 5.0 devices drive consistency in industry test standards Keysight Technologies, Inc. is participating as a gold suite vendor in the industry’s first PCI-SIG® Compliance Workshop to help advance standards that drive interoperability between PCI Express® (PCIe®) 5.0 devices. The event, hosted by PCI-SIG, is scheduled to be held from April 18 to 21, 2022 in Burlingame, California. PCI-SIG is a consortium that owns and manages PCI specifications as open industry standards and defines industry standard I/O (input/output) specifications consistent with the needs of its members. The PCIe 5.0 specification, a high-speed serial interface standard used in computer servers and graphics cards, supports greater data traffic and bandwidth requirements in data centers. The
IBASE Partners with AI Chipmaker Hailo to Launch Edge AI Computing System with 5G Connectivity IBASE Technology Inc. announced its partnership with leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipmaker Hailo. IBASE and Hailo are launching the 11th Gen Intel® Core™ U-Series-based ( formerly Tiger Lake) ASB210-953-AI edge AI computing system, targeted at smart Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) applications in multiple sectors, including smart cities, industry 4.0, and the automotive industry.
PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop enables the industry to advance standardized test procedures, software tools, and fixtures for PCIe technology-capable devices supporting data speeds of up to 32 giga transfers per second (GT/s). Consistency in PCIe specification test standards is vital to vendors of computer servers, endpoint devices, switches, storage devices and compute engines as it enables them to confidently launch PCIe 5.0 technology designs that interoperate as expected with other vendors’ products. “Keysight’s receiver and transmitter test solutions enable vendors to simulate, characterize and validate interoperability between PCIe 5.0 devices used in data centers,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, vice president of network and data center solutions at Keysight. “An active member of PCI-SIG since 1992, Keysight is pleased to participate in the first official PCI-SIG workshop focused on the PCIe 5.0 standard.” PCIe 5.0 and 6.0 interfaces underpin mass adoption of 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GE), a high-capacity
tems with unprecedented performance and responsiveness,” said Albert Lee, Executive Vice President at IBASE. “With a best-in-class AI processor packaged in a module, the Hailo-8 is compatible with NGFF M.2 form factor, as well as with M, B+M, and A+E keys that can be perfectly adapted in our ASB210-953-AI platform to execute real-time deep neural network inferencing in a wide range of market applications.”
data transport technology, which data center providers use to address 5G, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, gaming, visual computing, storage, and networking applications. At the workshop, Keysight will showcase the company’s recently announced PCIe 5.0 Protocol Analyzer, which combines an analyzer and interposer into one integrated design, resulting in simplified connections and improved signal integrity. “Interoperability between vendors’ PCIe products is critical to the successful deployment of PCIe technology and we value Keysight’s contributions to the development of PCIe standards,” said Al Yanes, president, and chairperson of PCI-SIG. “We appreciate Keysight’s electrical, interconnect, protocol, and serial test solutions that enable a global ecosystem to accelerate compliance and interoperability validation.” Keysight Technologies, Inc. www.keysight.com
“We are excited to partner with a market leader like IBASE to bring the performance capabilities of their deep learning solutions to a new level and enable smarter AI products,” said Liran Bar, VP of Business Development at Hailo. “We look forward to offering our reimagined AI processors to more embedded computing applications via IBASE solutions.” IBASE Technology Inc. www.ibase.com.tw
Integrated with the Hailo-8™ M.2 AI acceleration module, the ASB210-953-AI provides unparalleled performance, with up to 26 Tera-Operations Per Second (TOPS) and high-power efficiency. Measuring 180x150x72mm (WxDxH), the compact system comes with flexible expansion supporting highspeed 5G connectivity and three M.2 modules – B-Key, E-Key, and M-Key (with the Hailo-8 AI module installed) – allowing customers to accelerate time to market. “Our collaboration with Hailo enables us to offer customers edge AI inference sys-
COTS Journal | April 2022
COT’S PICKS Colmek Announces New Thermite® 8000 Series
Coda Octopus Colmek announces the release of the next generation Thermite® 8000 Series, replacing the previous GPU model. The Thermite® 8000 Series is specifically designed for use in tactical applications that require significant computing performance, such as artificial intelligence at the tactical edge, increased weapon systems lethality, soldier training, and unmanned systems. The 8000 Series is the newest line of the Thermite® family of rugged embedded computing solutions from Colmek and provides advanced processing in a small size, weight, and power (SWaP). Operating over a MIL-SPEC temperature range, the 8000 Series features Intel® 6th generation Xeon® processor and includes an NVIDIA® Quadro P2000. The unit supports up to 64 GB of RAM, with
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COTS Journal | April 2022
significant configurability to support a wide variety of applications. Supporting Linux or Windows, it can be expanded for a wide variety of interfaces via Mini PCIe, including MIL-STD1553. The unit also supports a broad range of input power, and is designed to MIL-STD-810G/IP67 environmental specs and MIL-STD-461F for EMI/EMC. “Colmek is pleased to continue to evolve our successful line of Thermite rugged embedded computing solutions,” said Kevin Kane, Chief Executive Officer, Coda Octopus Colmek. “The 8000
Lighter, stronger, easier to install: Collins Aerospace launches Panorama™ HiLite mirror display system Collins Aerospace Systems has launched Panorama™ HiLite, a new solid mirror display system that brings world-class accuracy, lightweight design, and an extended 300-degree Field of View (FOV) for side-by-side crew training. Modular and motion capable, Panorama HiLite offers operators the flexibility to select the right configuration for their particular training needs that leads to reduced setup time and minimal maintenance.
Series is our new flagship offering, targeted at the most processing-intensive requirements at the tactical edge.” Colmek www.colmek.com
“The mirror display technology in Panorama HiLite is a revolutionary step forward in clarity and enables a wider field of view, giving the crew the most realistic and immersive training experience available,” said Nick Gibbs, vice president and general manager, Simulation Solutions and Services for Collins Aerospace. Panorama HiLite builds on the existing Collins Aerospace Panorama™ system, extending FOV from 225 degrees to 300 degrees horizontal. The design is retrofittable to all 11-foot Panorama systems that have been fielded over the past twenty years. Collins Aerospace Systems www.collinsaerospace.com
COT’S PICKS Elma Expands Family of Rugged Routers & Switches for Enhanced Edge Computing in Mission-Critical Embedded Application
Elma Electronic Inc. has added three new models to its NetSys family of rugged, secure networking systems that facilitate edge computing in several mission-critical applications. Utilizing an onboard encryption module that offloads packet encryption and decryption from the routing engine, the routers provide increased data handling performance. The basis of all three small form factor (SFF) models is Cisco’s ESR-6300 which delivers IP-based data, voice, and video to mobile users with fast and secure network performance. Enterprise-grade Cisco IOS XE routing and switching security features help ensure highly secure voice, video, and data communication. New models include: NetSys-5310: router with an ARM QuadCore A72 CPU NetSys-5311: router adds POE & POE+ support and up to 60 GB Flash storage with expansion capability NetSys-5312: router also adds two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 7 or 23 Gigabit Ethernet ports via an ESS-3300 switch for advanced networking functionality Mark Littlefield, senior manager of embedded computing solutions at Elma Electronic Inc., noted, “The dependable architecture provided by the integrated Cisco IOS Embedded
Services Routing (ESR) software provides secure connectivity for mobile and remote data applications. Combining this functionality with Elma’s expertise in ruggedized electronics means systems designers can confidently employ secure data, voice, and video communications in the growing number of applications that require computing at the edge.” To ensure data integrity, the included onboard Trust Anchor module (TAm), along with image signing, Secure Boot, and runtime defenses, ensures that the code running on the ESR-6300 hardware platform is authentic, unmodified, and operating as intended. Based on Elma’s building block design concept for modular electronics, the SWaP-optimized NetSys models are extendable and configurable for cost-effective upgrades in future expansion or system redefinition. Elma’s NetSys family brings Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities to mobile and fixed IPbased network routing capability deployed in harsh environments encountered in drilling and mining operations, commercial air and ground transport infrastructure, energy distribution, mobile ground, shipboard, and air defense equipment, homeland security and emergency services. Elma’s other SFF modular embedded computing systems include the ComSys family for communication-based computing and JetSys series for AI-based processing. Elma Electronic Inc. www.elma.com
COTS Journal | April 2022
COT’S PICKS Abaco Adds Support for INTEGRITY-178 tuMP on SBC3511 in Avionics and Security-Critical Applications. MOSA Solution Combines FACE Software and SOSA Hardware
Abaco Systems, Inc. and Green Hills Software announced that the rugged, 3U VPX SBC3511 single board computer supports the INTEGRITY®-178 tuMP™ real-time operating system (RTOS) for avionics and security-critical applications. The combined solution features a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) that is aligned to the SOSA™ Technical Standard and certified to the FACE™ Technical Standard. Together the products address many requirements of security-critical systems including both functional security and assurance requirements. Additionally, INTEGRITY-178 was certified to the NSA-defined Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) high-robustness security and Common Criteria EAL 6+, and INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the first and only RTOS to be part of a cross-domain solution (CDS) certification to NSA’s new “Raise the Bar” standards. “The high-performance of the multicore Intel® Xeon® E processor on the SBC3511 can be fully realized with the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP multicore RTOS,” said Richard Jaenicke, Director of Marketing for Green Hills Software. “The built-in multicore interference mitigation capability in INTEGRITY-178 tuMP enables safe and deterministic performance even in the face of contention for shared resources by multiple processor cores.”
COTS Journal | April 2022
“The design of the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP RTOS to high-robustness security and Common Criteria EAL 6+ complements the wide range of security features built into the SBC3511 hardware and firmware designed to assist with the prevention of exploitation of critical technologies and data,” said Pete Thompson, Abaco’s VP of Product Management. “The combination of advanced security, high-performance, and leading-edge thermal management on the SBC3511 enables the joint solution to meet the demanding requirements of security-critical avionics systems.” The SBC3511 3U OpenVPX rugged single board computer derives its high performance from the new, highly integrated Intel Xeon E-2276M 6-core/12-thread processor ( formerly known as Coffee Lake Refresh) operating at 2.8GHz with TurboBoost up to 4.5GHz. It also features a 40 Gigabit Ethernet data plane, delivering a high-speed interconnect aligned with the SOSA I/O intensive profile for maximum multi-vendor interoperability. The SBC3511 utilizes an onboard Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC with built-in security capabilities. It can be utilized to instantiate a range of Abaco-defined security features or by customers to embed application-specific features. Support is also provided for Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology. The INTEGRITY-178 tuMP high-assurance RTOS is designed to meet the strictest requirements for both airborne safety and security simultaneously, including RTCA/DO-178B/C design assurance level
(DAL) A and the SKPP for High Robustness. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is a multicore RTOS with support for running a multi-threaded DAL A application across multiple processor cores in symmetric multi-processing (SMP) or bound multi-processing (BMP) configurations. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the only RTOS to be part of a multicore certification to DO-178C and CAST-32A. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP was the first RTOS to be certified conformant to the FACE Technical Standard, edition 3.0, and it is the only RTOS with multicore interference mitigation for all shared resources. That bandwidth allocation and monitoring (BAM) functionality ensure that critical applications meet their required deadlines, significantly lowering integration and certification risk. The INTEGRITY-178 RTOS is the only commercial operating system ever certified to the Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) published by the Information Assurance Directorate of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). That certification was done by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) to Common Criteria EAL 6+ “High Robustness,” and included all the functionality required to run multi-level security (MLS) applications, such as cross-domain solutions (CDS). INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is also the only RTOS to be part of certification to NSA’s “Raise the Bar” standards for cross-domain solutions. Abaco Systems, Inc. www.abaco.co
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