Contention-Aware Dynamic Memory Bandwidth Isolation with Predictability in COTS Multicores: An Avionics Case Study

Authors Ankit Agrawal, Gerhard Fohler, Johannes Freitag, Jan Nowotsch, Sascha Uhrig, Michael Paulitsch

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Ankit Agrawal
Gerhard Fohler
Johannes Freitag
Jan Nowotsch
Sascha Uhrig
Michael Paulitsch

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Ankit Agrawal, Gerhard Fohler, Johannes Freitag, Jan Nowotsch, Sascha Uhrig, and Michael Paulitsch. Contention-Aware Dynamic Memory Bandwidth Isolation with Predictability in COTS Multicores: An Avionics Case Study. In 29th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems (ECRTS 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 76, pp. 2:1-2:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


Airbus is investigating COTS multicore platforms for safety-critical avionics applications, pursuing helicopter-style autonomous and electric aircraft. These aircraft need to be ultra-lightweight for future mobility in the urban city landscape. As a step towards certification, Airbus identified the need for new methods that preserve the ARINC 653 single core schedule of a Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS) application while scheduling additional safety-critical partitions on the other cores. As some partitions in the HTAWS application are memory-intensive, static memory bandwidth throttling may lead to slow down of such partitions or provide only little remaining bandwidth to the other cores. Thus, there is a need for dynamic memory bandwidth isolation. This poses new challenges for scheduling, as execution times and scheduling become interdependent: scheduling requires execution times as input, which depends on memory latencies and contention from memory accesses of other cores - which are determined by scheduling. Furthermore, execution times depend on memory access patterns. In this paper, we propose a method to solve this problem for slot-based time-triggered systems without requiring application source-code modifications using a number of dynamic memory bandwidth levels. It is NoC and DRAM controller contention-aware and based on the existing interference-sensitive WCET computation and the memory bandwidth throttling mechanism. It constructs schedule tables by assigning partitions and dynamic memory bandwidth to each slot on each core, considering worst case memory access patterns. Then at runtime, two servers - for processing time and memory bandwidth - run on each core, jointly controlling the contention between the cores and the amount of memory accesses per slot. As a proof-of-concept, we use a constraint solver to construct tables. Experiments on the P4080 COTS multicore platform, using a research OS from Airbus and EEMBC benchmarks, demonstrate that our proposed method enables preserving existing schedules on a core while scheduling additional safety-critical partitions on other cores, and meets dynamic memory bandwidth isolation requirements.
  • Dynamic memory bandwidth isolation
  • Safety-critical avionics
  • COTS multicores


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