The objective of the study was to provide EASA with data and analyses that would assist EASA in writing and publishing guidance material on the subject of the use of multi-core processors in safety-critical airborne systems. These systems would be of Development Assurance Levels (DAL) A, B or C in compliance with CS 25.1309 (a) and (b), ED-79A / ARP4574A, ED-12B / DO-178B, ED-80 / DO-254 and EASA Certification Memoranda 001 and 002 for Airborne Electronic Hardware (AEH) and Software.
The study identified the types of multi-core processors being produced now and in the near future by some of the major processor manufacturers. It described the internal architectures of those processors and the types of software architecture that can be implemented for the processors.
The study provided details of some of the features of multi-core processors that EASA had identified as having potentially adverse effects. It suggested some criteria related to those processor features that could be used in deciding whether or not a processor was suitable for use in airborne safety-critical applications.
The study provided a set of recommendations regarding processor selection and the handling of those multi-core processor features that could be problematical for their use in safety-critical systems. It also reviewed the existing EASA AEH Certification Memorandum and made some suggestions on how the section on COTS processors might be applied to multi-core processors.