Nucleus DO-178B

Accelerated Technology®, the Embedded Systems Division of Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT), has teamed up with Cascade Engineering Services to announce that the Nucleus RTOS has now completed level A certification according to the FAA DO-178B standards.

Increased interest from customers in the aerospace and avionics industries prompted Cascade Engineering Services to certify Nucleus PLUS. level A software certification eliminates the possibility of hazardous end results which reduces the capability of the aircraft or crew members from safely operating the airplane. Examples include differential GPS or proximity sensing systems.

The Nucleus PLUS kernel provides efficient, high performance task management, inter-task communication, inter-task synchronization, memory management, and component query features. Optimizations in system clock, interrupt and compiler register usage are only part of the advanced features provided by Nucleus PLUS. The kernel handles difficult issues such as priority inversion while minimizing the interrupt latency to a few microseconds.

Cascade Engineering Services has added to its impressive software certification capabilities an intimate knowledge of Nucleus PLUS by successfully certifying the operating system to various DO-178B levels. This proven expertise makes Cascade the clear choice for significantly reduced certification cycle times.

The purpose of DO-178B is to provide detailed guidelines for the production of software for airborne systems. The testing standards for different applications are specified by their degree of criticality as it relates to continued safe flight. Flight critical applications must be tested to the highest standards. Less critical applications, on-board entertainment systems, for instance, must be tested but at a lower level standard for certification.

Level A certification eliminates the possibility of a catastrophic effect on the aircraft and requires the highest level of testing. Examples of level A software applications include engine controls and landing systems. Nucleus is currently undergoing analysis for level A certification and is the first COTS RTOS to be submitted to this stringent standard.

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