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Overview: DREAMS - Distributed REal-time Architecture for Mixed Criticality Systems

In many domains such as avionics, industrial control, or healthcare there is an increasing trend for mixed-criticality systems, where multiple functions with different importance and certification assurance levels are integrated using a shared computing platform. The foundations for this integration are mechanisms for temporal and spatial partitioning, although key technological challenges are yet unsolved including the combination of software virtualization and hardware segregation and the extension of partitioning mechanisms to jointly address significant extra functional requirements (e.g., time, energy and power budgets, reliability, safety, security, etc.). Furthermore, platforms encompassing networked multi-core chips will be required in many mixed-criticality systems. In addition to requirements exceeding the resources of a single chip, today’s technology does not support the manufacturing of electronic devices with failure rates low enough to meet the reliability requirements of ultra-dependable systems.

The objective of DREAMS is to develop a cross-domain architecture and design tools for networked complex systems where application subsystems of different criticality, executing on networked multi-core chips, are supported.

DREAMS will deliver architectural concepts, meta-models, virtualization technologies, model-driven development methods, tools, adaptation strategies and validation, verification and certification methods for the seamless integration of mixed-criticality to establish security, safety, real-time performance as well as data, energy and system integrity.

DREAMS will leverage multi-core platforms for a hierarchical system perspective of mixed-criticality applications combining the chip- and cluster-level. This system perspective will be established by virtualization (e.g., secure and timely end-to-end channels with different on-chip and off-chip segments), platform models and tools and integrated resource management resulting in higher flexibility, adaptability and energy efficiency.

The consortium consists of major embedded system suppliers and OEMs encompassing a broad range of application domains (avionics, wind power, healthcare), supported by leading research and academic organizations.

The four-years DREAMS project is coordinated by University of Siegen and is one of three projects funded by the European Commission in the area of mixed-criticality systems from the  FP7 ICT call 10. The EC financial contribution amounts to 11 million euros.