AMC 20-193 Training, Certification and Objectives

CAST-32A and AMC 20-193 Compliance for Multi-core Processors

Multi-core Processors (MCPs) usage Background

Multi-core Processors (MCPs) can execute several software applications at the same time by hosting them on different cores, therefore several software applications and/or hardware functions may attempt to access the same shared resources of the MCP (such as memory, cache, ‘coherency fabric/module interconnect’, or external interfaces) at the same time, causing contention for those resources.

MCP Compliance Challenges in DO-178C

Most MCPs have internal features to handle and arbitrate the concurrent demands for MCP resources, which may cause delays in access to the resources. These delays are a form of time interference between the software applications or tasks, which can cause the software applications to take much longer to execute than when executing on their own.

The execution of software applications may be different on MCPs than it is on single-core processors (due to parallelism and other MCP mechanisms, or software components such as operating systems or hypervisors). This may result in new or different data or control coupling paths, and functional interference between the software applications or tasks. Interference between the software applications or tasks executing on an MCP could cause safety-critical software applications to behave in a non-deterministic or unsafe manner or could prevent them from having sufficient time to complete the execution of their safety-critical functionality.

The use of multicore systems brings extra complexity to software behavior, and as a result to the certification and verification activities that must be performed to provide sufficient design assurance. As multicore systems were not used in avionics when DO-178C was released, DO-178C itself includes no guidance on certification concerns for multicore systems. This was addressed by the CAST team in CAST-32A, which is due to be superseded by AMC/AC 20-193.

Multi-core (MCP) Means of Compliance in Avionics:

Application of AMC 20-193 or AC 20-193 in Avionics:

To ensure compliance of MCPs in Avionics, EASA® and the FAA™ have been developed guidelines for development and most importantly verification of multi-core systems in DO-178C projects. The current guideline by EASA is Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC 20-193), and upcoming/equivalent by FAA Advisory Circulars (AC 20-193). These equivalent documents provide guidance for compliance with airworthiness regulations without creating or changing existing regulatory requirements. The AMC 20-193 and AC 20-193 is a product of collaborative effort by EASA and FAA based from the position paper “CAST-32A: Multi-core Processors”. 

The AC/AMC 20-193 describes an acceptable means for demonstrating compliance with the applicable airworthiness regulations for aspects related to multi-core processors contained in airborne systems and equipment used in TC/STC certification or ETSO/TSO authorization. Multicore processors are increasingly used within avionics systems, not only in applies to Civil Airborne systems, but also in applies MIL-Aero, eVTOL and UAM certification. AMC/AC 20-193 applies to systems and equipment that contain MCPs with two or more activated cores for which the item development assurance level (IDAL) of at least one of the software applications hosted by the MCP or of the hardware item containing the MCP is A, B, or C. consideration must be taken that the deactivation of cores is handled through the applicable Airborne Electronic Hardware (AEH) guidance DO-254/ED-80. However, the AC/AMC 20-193 does not apply when the software IDALs are all level D or E.

ConsuNova Compliance Services for Multi-core in Avionics:

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AMC 20-193 Training with CAST-32A Objectives:

ConsuNova DO-178C training includes CAST-32A and AMC/AC 20-193 modular segments covering Multicore compliance. 

CAST-32A and AMC/AC 20-193 Compliance Training topics include:

•  Explanation of CAST-32A Objectives
•  MCP_Planning and MCP_Accomplishment_Summary Objectives and how to document them
•  MCP_Resource_Usage Objectives for each DAL
•  MCP_Software Objectives for Verification of Multi-core
•  MCP_Error_Handling: Techniques and Verifications to deal with error handling mechanisms in the multicore system.
•  RTOS issues in Multi-core and complying to AMC/AC 20-193
•  CAST-32A WCET techniques, tools, and challenges
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Certification of Multi-core Systems

Certification Audits, Gap Analysis and Compliance Letters 

ConsuNova European CVEs and FAA Consulting DER team have expertise and are involved in certification of multi-core systems.

Our team of experts are equipped with knowledge and track record to assist you from the MCP certification planning to completion of Multicore compliance audits for certification.
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CAST-32A and AMC/AC 20-193 Templates and Checklists

Expedited and Optimized Templates

We have augmented our proprietary DO-178C Templates and Checklists to ensure full coverage of compliance steps in every process and checks during your MCP planning, development, and verification.

These templates provide certification aspects of CAST-32A objectives, and all additional requirements from AMC/AC 20-193 guidelines. This way, your team only needs to focus on the technical aspects of MCP challenges.
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