The holy grail of systems convergence has been to consolidate many stand-alone systems onto multicore systems. Real-time systems have traditionally been stand-alone systems due to the many ways interference can present in multicore systems. Performance issues can arise due to unintended interactions between systems such as resource contention for memory, CPU, and I/O. Noisy neighbors can cause cache evictions causing cache misses that can cause real-time systems to fail from the latency. Jitter is latency overtime in an application where variations in CPU cycles can cause real-time systems to fail. Both of these issues arise from having shared hardware between applications and VMs.
Mainsail Industries in collaboration with Lockheed Martin and Intel have been working to solve many of the problems that real-time systems present from many different angles. One of the biggest breakthroughs has been the ability to run real-time workloads alongside nonreal-time workloads on the same multicore system. What this means is that instead of having multiple, separate, single-core systems, you can now consolidate these real-time workloads on multicore systems leading to extreme reductions in space, weight, and power (SWaP). This is based all on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. COTS-based products provide a low-cost alternative to full mill-spec hardware.
If an aircraft or ship is able to consolidate communications, guidance, control, mission-critical systems onto a single unified architecture COTS platform the savings in cost would be significant compared to current implementations. Using current multicore systems for mixed-criticality workloads software deployment could be accelerated by the use of industry-standard DevSecOps and CI/CD principles, bringing new features and capabilities to the warfighter faster.
Stay tunded for more on what Mainsail Industries is bringing to market.