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TTTech to Improve Mixed-Criticality Architectures of Networked Multicores in R&D Project DREAMS

TTTech, the leading supplier of dependable networking solutions based on time-triggered technology and modular safety platforms, joined the large European research project DREAMS. Within the four-year-project TTTech targets the improvement of architectures of networked multicores. A specific focus is the usability of such architectures for mixed-criticality systems and the use in diverse safety-critical domains. DREAMS consolidates efforts from sixteen European partners and has a total budget of 16 Million Euros.

Mixed-criticality features allow system developers to integrate safety-relevant and non-safety systems on the same physical platforms, thus reducing total system cost, size, weight and power usage. In order to make this possible, strong guarantees must be provided so that the non-safety-components can never interfere with critical components. Although specific individual solutions have been developed, an integrated architectural approach for realizing mixed-criticality on chip, multicore and network levels is missing. 

Within the FP7-ICT integrated project DREAMS, TTTech will contribute to improving such mixed-criticality architectures. One of the company's core technologies, Deterministic Ethernet (TTEthernet), already provides a strong basis for mixed-criticality at the network level. Additional features will be added to support dynamic scheduling, security and wireless solutions. Furthermore, this new platform provides the technological foundation for network virtualization in order to directly and transparently connect individual CPU cores and partitions.

TTTech will focus on specific aspects regarding the research carried out within the DREAMS project. The company will drive forth R&D in the field of networking technologies, hierarchical and heterogeneous networks as well as architectures for mixed-criticality systems. TTTech will further concentrate on the research of advanced scheduling techniques for dynamic communication scenarios. Other focus areas will be network level chip development, software and tools development as well as analysis and simulation techniques.

"Deterministic Ethernet networks offer mixed-criticality by design, providing safety for critical traffic whilst allowing parallel non-critical network flows. DREAMS will allow TTTech to further increase Deterministic Ethernet flexibility for different industrial usage domains," explains Dr. Markus Plankensteiner, Director Sales & Marketing Industrial at TTTech.

The kick-off meeting for DREAMS took place on October 14 with the European Union contributing 11 million Euros to the project funds. Alongside with TTTech project partners encompass large enterprises (Alstom, STMicroelectronics, Thales, TÜV Rheinland) and SMEs (FENTISS, RealTime-at-Work, Virtual Open Systems). Furthermore leading universities and research institutes (FORTISS, IKERLAN, ONERA, Polytechnic University of Valencia, SINTEF, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Technical University of Kaiserslautern and University of Siegen) contribute to DREAMS. The project is scheduled to run for four years and will end in September 2017.

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