Europe invests in real-time Java for multicore systems - Embedded.com

Europe invests in real-time Java for multicore systems

LONDON — The Open Group is working with a consortium of European real-time technology developers, industrial manufacturers and research organizations to develop a new framework for Java-based real-time applications on modern parallel processor systems.

Supported by the European Commission, the Java Environment for Parallel Real-time Development (JEOPARD) project is investing over €3.3 million (about $ 4.9 million) an advanced frameworkfor real-time Java running on multicore and parallel systems.

This platform-independent framework will maintain the robust reliability essential for safety and mission critical applications, while using the additional processing power available from the latest parallel platforms.

Led by The Open Group (Reading, England), the JEOPARD consortium includes four universities and research institutes: University of York (England), Vienna University of Technology (Austria), FZI (Research Center for Information Technologies at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany) and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania); three industrial manufacturers: EADS NV (Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands), RadioLabs (Rome, Italy) and SkySoft (Lisbon, Portugal); and two embedded systems technology suppliers: Aicas (Karlsruhe, Germany) and Sysgo (Klein-Winternheim, Germany).

The strategic objective of the JEOPARD project is to provide the tools for platform-independent development of predictable systems that make use of symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) multicore platforms. These tools will enhance software productivity and reusability by extending processor technology alreadyestablished on desktop systems for the specific needs of multicore embedded systems. The project will actively contribute to standards required for the development of portable software in this domain, suchas the Real-time Specification for Java (RTSJ).

In addition, the JEOPARD project will develop a platform-independent software development interface for realtime multicore systems. The interface will be based on existing technologies, including theReal-Time Specification for Java (JSR 1 and JSR 282) and Safety-Critical Java (JSR 302).

These technologies currently provide a strong foundation for the development of complex and highly reliable real-time systems, but they do not yet provide support for multicore systems. Even morechallenging, some of the technologies can not address more than one processor at a time, making it impossible to develop applications that scale with the number of processors available on current and future multicore systems.

“The JEOPARD consortium partners are experts in all layers of a multicore embedded system, from the processor architecture to the Java virtual machine and the C and Java API layers,” said Scott Hansen, director of European Projects at The Open Group. “We’re confident the project will solve the critical issues in each of these layers, thereby providing a powerful interface for the applications developer at the highest level.”

“Embedded systems developers require a stable platform based on recognized standards if they are to invest in new applications that fully exploit multicore systems,” said Fridtjof Siebert, CTO of Aicas and technical director for the consortium. “The JEOPARD project will provide an evolutionary path that maintains the advantages of Java such as portability, interoperability, object orientated design, whileenabling real-time systems developers to achieve higher performance levels and scalability with increasingly sophisticated multicore platforms.”

The JEOPARD project is financed in part by the 7th Framework Program, an initiative of the European Community created to foster European research and development of new technologies, applications and industries. The project will run through 2010 and is expected to contribute to ongoing standards development activities related to real-time Java and multicore systems.

The Open Group is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, which drives the creation of Boundaryless Information Flow that will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability.

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