Is multi-core ready for safety-critical?

By Paul Parkinson

I recently attended the Military & Aerospace Electronics conference
in the UK, at which a number of technical presentations were given on
new technologies relevant to this sector, including an excellent one by
Gordon Hunt of RTI on the Data Distribution Standard (which probably deserves a blog entry in its own right). However, the presentation which I want to comment on here is ‘COTS VME processing: 4-way SMP Intel vs. Quad Distributed PowerPC‘ given by Richard Jaenicke, Director of Technology Integration at Mercury Computer Systems.

Richard gave a considered overview of the different types of multiprocessor architectures and their suitability to different types of application. He then went on to discuss the relative merits of a number of multi-core devices,
and their suitability for deployment in the various multiprocessing
architectures. This included insights into the performance speed-up of
the multi-core Intel Core Duo over single-core Pentium architectures, and why the Dual-Core Intel Xeon is more suitable for 4-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) architectures.

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