Friday, January 27, 2006

FSMLabs adds ARINC Support

Does FSMLabs have the most complete Embedded Linux solution package for a company that is not a household/industry name? Wind River and MontaVista get most of the press (here too!), but FSMLabs continues to innovate and expand its offerings. The release has a full list.

We would not count on this product in safety critical apps. FSMLabs has had a great deal of success in test bench applications for the aerospace market. This appears to support those efforts.

FSMLabs has the product line, but lacks the market presence and awareness that other companies have invested in with venture-backed capital. We believe the company has largely bootstrapped itself over the years and while this conservative approach has a number of benefits, it is difficult to achieve the market presence of a MontaVista that way. That said, the problems that MontaVista appears to have are only compounded by investors with high-return expectations. Maybe the folks in Socorro have a better plan?

The release is here:

Socorro, NM - January 23, 2006 - FSMLabs, ( today announced ARINC 653 scheduling is now available in RTLinuxPro. Designed for avionics control and advanced hardware-in-loop simulation, ARINC 653 provides a fully protected and partitioned scheduling environment configured using a standard XML format. The ARINC scheduler has been added to FSMLabs' industry leading PSDD user space real-time product for executing real-time threads in the address space of Linux or BSD processes.

Richard Bond, who developed an RTLinuxPro based simulator in his work as Principal Real-Time Specialist for Lockheed-Martin, says:
"RTLinuxPro and PSDD enabled a simple simulation framework, allowed me the choice to develop user-level I/O drivers, and provided outstanding performance. ARINC 653 support will make this tool even more useful.”

PSDD is especially well suited to large scale simulation and test applications.
Dean Anneser, a Software Engineering Fellow at Pratt & Whitney says:
"PSDD provides a very cost effective scalable multiplatform solution (x86/ppc) for our simulation, control, and data acquisition systems.”

The ARINC 653 specification requires both time and space (memory) partitioning and also calls for XML scheduling configuration. FSMLabs has coupled these standard configuration, scheduling and protection mechanisms with RTCore's POSIX compliant OS interface. ARINC users get the benefits of specific scheduling windows, easy configuration, and application isolation, plus POSIX threads, semaphores, shared memory and other standard interfaces. The system supports, “C,” C++, and FORTRAN. ADA support is planned.

Modern off the shelf processors can perform at many times the capacity of previous generation special purpose systems so ARINC 653 “cabinets” can share processors or multiprocessors with standard PSDD and RTCore real-time threads and ordinary Linux processes. For example, databases and graphical visualization systems can run in left-over time.

RTCore's built-in SMP support is inherited by the ARINC 653 subsystem. Multiple ARINC “cabinets” can be run on a single system, reducing management overhead, cost, space, and power requirements. Where the computing requirements of the ARINC partitions is exceptionally high, RTLinux's processor control and reservation technology allows system architects the option of running only real-time code on selected processors.

The PSDD component already supported time and space partitioning, but FSMLabs has now added an option to PSDD for ARINC 653 required limitations on interaction between partitions. The FSMLabs implementation provides user-defined timing windows for specific partitions enabling users to create multi-threaded simulation compartments that are bound to specific periods of time within a cycle. Threads within a partition are dependent on their priority level within that compartment and are completely independent of other ARINC threads at any other priorities that may run during other time-slices.

FSMLabs'ARINC 653 support comes as an option to the RTLinuxPro development kit, which provides all of the tools needed to build hard real-time applications out of the box, including:

  • A full set of compilers, libraries, and build tools, plus debugger
  • The RTCore real-time server and a ruggedized embedded Linux kernel
  • An Eclipse based IDE
  • A small embedded target file system
  • Carrier Grade Linux as an option
  • Full FSMLabs state-of-the-art testing and quality assurance

RTLinuxPro and ARINC 653 support are available immediately from FSMLabs and its worldwide channel partners. For a complete list of supported hardware, contact FSMLabs.