Taming Interrupts: Deterministic Asynchronicity in an ARINC 653 Environment

Taming Interrupts: Deterministic Asynchronicity in an ARINC 653 Environment

Interrupts are forbidden in ARINC 653 partitioned environments – or so it appears. In this paper we will examine that prohibition and explore a means of using interrupts in a system while maintaining deterministic behavior.

We begin with an overview of the benefits and costs of Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), along with a review of associated standards. Next, we look at interrupt-driven Input/Output (I/O) handling, which is considered best practice, except in ARINC 653 systems. Because DO-248 requires deterministic behavior as a fundamental system property necessary to certify safety, most IMA system designers avoid interrupts, presuming that such asynchronous events introduce non-determinism and cause interpartition interference.

We conclude with a description of our initial implementation of this innovation within a customized version of the Xen hypervisor.

Topics covered in this paper:

  • Standards
  • Certification
  • Aerospace electronics
  • ARINC 653 environment software development
  • And more…

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Steve VanderLeestSteve VanderLeest
Steve is DornerWorks former COO, a multi-talented technical expert and entrepreneur with proven expertise in engineering design and processes. Steve has experience in both industry and academia, having been a professor of engineering at Calvin College for many years. He has published dozens of papers on a variety of technology-related topics.