Leading the Embedded World

Improved Data Modem (IDM-401) Multicore Software Upgrade

The IDM is the common solution that establishes connectivity across U.S. Army Aviation platforms and is fielded on every modernized, rotary-wing Army aircraft, including the CH-47 Chinook, AH-64 Apache, and UH-60 Black Hawk. The IDM enables connectivity to multiple radios used by rotary-wing aircraft and the Blue Force Tracker transceiver, as well as providing the means for rapid data transfer. Serving as the crucial interface between platform mission computers and radios, the IDM is the gateway between aviation and ground platforms. The IDM facilitates the sharing of situational awareness data, sensor data, and command and control (C2) data among Army, Joint, and coalition aviation partners. The program supports Open Systems Architecture (OSA), Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™), and Common Operating Environment (COE) standards and interoperability.

When the Army wanted to upgrade the software on the IDM-401 to run safety-critical applications on multiple processor cores, they selected the FACE-conformant INTEGRITY-178 tuMP safety-critical real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software. The IDM-401 was originally fielded with a competitor’s RTOS, but that was restricted to running on a single core of the multicore hardware for safety-critical applications. Running on a single core limited overall system throughput and led the IDM program to find a DO-178C DAL A compliant solution that provided optimal core utilization and greater processing power from the existing IDM multicore CPU. The primary factor in the selection of INTEGRITY-178 tuMP was the low-risk path for the delivery of its DAL A certification artifacts on a multicore architecture for the IDM processor. Other key factors included the built-in multicore interference mitigation and the ability to utilize all available cores in an efficient, optimal, and bounded manner.

INTEGRITY-178 has a long history of being used in successful DO-178/ED-12 DAL A certifications starting in 2003, when it became the first commercial RTOS to be part of a successful DO-178B DAL A certification. For the past 5 years, Green Hills Software has been providing multicore certifications packages for DO-178C up to DAL A for INTEGRITY-178 tuMP on multiple multicore architectures. Those multicore certification packages include mechanisms, processes, and evidence of mitigating multicore interference to meet CAST-32A. Using bandwidth allocation and monitoring (BAM) technology, a system architect can allocate and enforce bandwidth to shared resources on a per-core basis. The result is a consistently low worst-case execution time (WCETs) for each application independent of what other applications are running simultaneously on the other processor cores.

US Army IDM AHf-64 Apanche

AH-64 Apache
(Image courtesy US Army)

CH-47 Chinook
(Image courtesy US Army)

UH-60 Black Hawk
(Image courtesy US Army)

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