Safety Critical Solution Rolls into Dy 4's Single Board Computers

5/13/2003 - Dy 4 Systems, a division of Force Computers, a Solectron company, and a leading designer and manufacturer of COTS VME and CompactPCI (cPCI) products for harsh environments, announced its support of safety critical system development with its SVME/DMV-181, 500 MHz MPC7410-based PowerPC single board computer (SBC). The 181 will be available with a certifiable version of Dy 4's unique power-up Foundation Firmware and a board support package (BSP) for Wind Rivers' VxWorks® AE-653 operating system. This combination provides a powerful solution for customers that need to address safety standards defined by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) DO-178B and the Avionics Application Software Standard Interface (ARINC) 653 sponsored by the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee. DO-178B is the internationally accepted guideline, supported by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), for developing, testing and maintaining safety critical software for avionics systems.

With Dy 4's Foundation Firmware on the SVME/DMV-181 SBC, Dy 4 has developed the internal processes and invested in the management and test tools necessary to provide customers with the artifacts they need for certification of their system to DO-178B. This DO-178B capability allows Dy 4 to develop its own range of certifiable products and to provide customization services to customers who may require additional functionality or modifications to the standard product offerings. Products are available at nominal cost for use and evaluation with the SVME/DMV-181 SBC. Certification artifacts and source code are available separately for certification.

"Our customers in the safety-critical aerospace sector are looking for the benefits offered by COTS solutions with the assurance that they can still certify their systems to DO-178B," said Duncan Young, director of marketing for Dy 4 Systems. "This is the first time a COTS hardware provider has invested in this kind of in-house software development capability."

“Certifiable Foundation Firmware (CFFW) provides all the code necessary to initialize and test the 181 on power-up and to support software development. It is packaged in two parts--certifiable code that can be incorporated into a deployable application and a comprehensive set of utilities used during the system development and test phase. Examples of utilities include Ethernet download and debug, monitor, PCI-Scan for discovery of PCI devices on power-up, and a Flash programming and verification tool. In addition to CFFW, Dy 4 offers a certifiable BSP for the 181 that supports Wind River's VxWorksAE-653 certifiable real-time operating system. VxWorksAE-653 fully supports the ARINC-653 time and space domain model to provide total separation of multiple tasks in secure partitions and guaranteed availability of resources when they are running.

"Dy 4 has a large installed base of VxWorks users in their market segment, " said Steve Blackman, director of defense and aerospace market development for Wind River, "This announcement will significantly reduce costs and time-to-market for customers who are required to support certification of their systems for compliance with safety regulations or who need to ensure the safety of their entire software solution. Dy 4 and Wind River can now offer a truly off-the-shelf solution for development and deployment of safety-critical COTS hardware and software systems."

Dy 4 CFFW and CBSP products will be available late summer for evaluation, complete certification artifacts will be available early 2004.

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