AdaCore’s CodePeer Static Analysis Tool Earns Qualification for Software Verification in Avionics, Railway

Automatic code review and validation tool meets rigorous industry software verification standards; provides trusted reliability for Ada developers in safety-critical applications

NEW YORK, PARIS and BRISTOL, October 23, 2014, High Integrity Software Conference, Bristol, UK -- AdaCore today announced that its CodePeer advanced static analysis tool for the automated review and validation of Ada source code has been qualified as a software verification tool for developers in both avionics and railway industries.

CodePeer assesses the program before execution to find errors efficiently and early in the development life cycle. Using advanced mathematics, CodePeer analyzes every line of software, considering every possible input and every path through the program. It performs impact and vulnerability analysis when existing code is modified, and, using control-flow, data-flow and other advanced static analysis techniques, it detects problems that would otherwise require labor-intensive debugging.

“In safety-critical domains, developers need very strong assurances that the tool they’re using to assess their code is reliable, can be trusted, and will substantially reduce the need for manual code review,” says Arnaud Charlet, CodePeer Product Manager and Technical Director at AdaCore. “CodePeer has been through rigorous industry-specific tests for avionics and railway that fully affirm its value and reliability in these and other safety-critical development environments.”

Avionics Qualification
CodePeer has been qualified as a verification tool for DO-178B, the software safety standard for commercial airborne systems. Certification authorities such as the FAA in the U.S. and EASA in Europe apply DO-178B to provide confidence that the software will meet its requirements.

Vulnerabilities detected by CodePeer analysis for avionics include following:

  • Overflow on integer and floating point types
  • Range violations on integer and floating point types
  • Index violations on array operations
  • Division by zero on integer and floating point types
  • Uninitialized variables
  • Underflow on floating point types

Where no potential error is reported, CodePeer guarantees that the code is exempt from these vulnerabilities.

Railway Qualification
For railway applications, CodePeer has been used to verify code certified in accordance with CENELEC EN 50128:2011 SIL 4 --the highest safety integrity level.

In this context, CodePeer has been used for the following activities:

  • Boundary value analysis: it detects attempts to dereference a pointer that could be null, to read values outside the bounds of an Ada type or subtype, and also detects buffer overflows, numeric overflow or wraparound, and division by zero.
  • Control flow analysis: it detects suspicious and potentially incorrect control flows, such as unreachable code, redundant conditionals, loops that either run forever or fail to terminate normally, and subprograms that never return.
  • Data flow analysis: it detects suspicious and potentially incorrect data flows, such as variables read before they are written (uninitialized variables), variables written more than once without being read (redundant assignments), variables that are written but never read, and parameters with an incorrect mode (unread parameter, unassigned parameter).

CodePeer can be used in conjunction with AdaCore’s GNAT Pro development environment where it is tightly integrated into AdaCore’s GPS (GNAT Programming Studio) and GNATbench IDEs, or as a standalone product. It comes with a number of complementary static analysis tools common to the technology: a coding standard verification tool (GNATcheck), a source code metric generator (GNATmetric), a semantic analyzer and a document generator.

A demo highlighting the new features introduced in the latest version of CodePeer can be viewed at the following url:

About AdaCore
Founded in 1994, AdaCore is the leading provider of commercial software solutions for Ada, a state-of-the-art programming language designed for large, long-lived applications where safety, security, and reliability are critical. AdaCore's flagship product is the open source GNAT Pro development environment, which comes with expert on-line support and is available on more platforms than any other Ada technology. AdaCore has an extensive world-wide customer base; see for further information.

Ada and GNAT Pro see a growing usage in high-integrity and safety-certified applications, including space-based systems, commercial aircraft avionics, military systems, air traffic management/control, railroad systems, and medical devices, and in security-sensitive domains, such as financial services. The SPARK Pro toolset, available from AdaCore, is especially useful in such contexts.

AdaCore has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.

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