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Freedom from Interference in Heterogeneous COTS SoCs

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Increased computational requirements of embedded software, in real-time domains such as automotive and avionics, demand an increasing amount of performance, that can not be offered from traditional single-core systems used within these fields. While more powerful platforms, have long been available on the consumer market, their adoption into safety critical fields has been slow, due to the rigorous safety certification requirements. Such platforms include multi-core CPU processors and heterogeneous CPU + accelerator system-on-chips (SoCs). Enabling the use of heterogeneous platforms in safety-critical systems does not only offer a major increase in performance, but also promises an increase in energy efficiency due to the use of more efficient accelerators. However, characteristic for these platforms that the operation of one core may interfere with an other due to the sharing of hardware resources. Therefore, one of the most important factors for certification is to provide guarantees on freedom from interference within the system, enabling strict guarantees on the completion of real-time tasks before the set deadlines.

Within the HERCULES project, IIS is collaborating with research groups and companies around Europe to create a software framework for timing predictable execution on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) heterogeneous platforms. This framework implements the PRedictable Execution Model (PREM) on the NVIDIA platform, and consists of a PREM-enabling compiler, a memory schedule aware hypervisor, soft and hard real-time operating systems (Linux, Erika), and low-level mechanisms to enforce the freedom from interference property. The work at IIS is primarily focused around the CPU/GPU compiler, as well as mechanisms for enforcing memory operations on the GPU side.


The goal of this project is to design and integrate a full system configuration of CPU and GPU applications that can be executed concurrently on a heterogeneous platform, in accordance with the PREM model. The main outcome of the project is to gain an insight into the plethora of applications that are common within the respective domains, and what characteristics that are important to consider from a predictability and performance perspective when co-running them on an heterogeneous SoC.

Status: Completed

Looking for 1 Interested Master Student (Semester Project)
Supervision: Bjoern Forsberg


The exact contents of this project need to be discussed in detail with interested students to account for their special interests, and to ensure convergence with the short and long term goals of the HERCULES project.


Embedded systems or some familiarity with real-time systems


Luca Benini

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