New GNAT Pro Toolsuite for ERC32

PARIS, FRANCE - GNAT Pro for ERC32, a flexible cross-compilation environment supporting the Ravenscar tasking profile on top of a bare ERC32 computer, is now available. It is designed for mission-critical real-time space applications, including those that have to meet safety standards.

Developed under ESA (European Space Agency) sponsorship, AdaCore targeted the development environment to ESA's standard processor for spacecraft on-board computer systems, the ERC32, which is a radiation-tolerant SPARC V7 processor. Available host platforms are x86 Linux and SPARC Solaris.

"ESA favours, beside proprietary solutions, the existence of open source technologies provided that they are properly maintained." Explains Morten Nielsen, ESA Technical Officer, "GNAT Pro implements this policy with a competitive high quality compilation environment and run times for the space SPARC based radiation hardened CPUs that are used in current and future ESA space programmes."

The static and simple tasking model defined by the Ravenscar profile allows a streamlined implementation of the Ada run-time library directly on top of bare computers. Its reduced complexity, together with its configurability, make it an excellent choice for mission-critical space applications in which certification or small size is needed. Unused code and data can be removed from the final executable, helping reducing the footprint and simplifying the certification process.

The developer can choose from several predefined run-time libraries, each corresponding to a particular set of run-time Ada features, or, even more flexibly, configure a tailored library reflecting exactly the set of features that are used.

Also as part of the ESA contract, an extensive verification and validation campaign was carried out to meet the ESA requirements for such products. AdaCore has developed a comprehensive test suite that checks compliance with the Ravenscar profile and correct behavior of specialized features (such as the last-chance exception handler mechanism) and supplemental tools (such as the debugger).

IPL ( were also involved in the development providing their AdaTEST 95 tool targeting the ERC32 compiler.

"We are very pleased with this development which more than ever opens the space market to Ada, and to the use of a state-of-the-art software development environment for mission-critical applications." - Dr. Jose Ruiz, AdaCore Project Manager.

About ESA
The European Space Agency is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe. ESA has 16 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

What does ESA do?
ESA's job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. The Agency's projects are designed to find out more about the Earth, its immediate space environment, the solar system and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe to share the benefits of space with the whole of mankind.

About AdaCore
Founded in 1994, AdaCore is the leading provider of commercial, open-source software solutions for Ada, a modern programming language designed for large, long-lived applications where reliability, efficiency and safety are absolutely critical. AdaCore's flagship product is GNAT Pro, the commercial-grade open-source Ada development environment, which comes with expert online support and is available on more platforms than any other Ada technology. AdaCore has customers worldwide; see our customers page for more information.

Use of Ada and GNAT Pro continues to grow in high-integrity and safety-critical applications, including commercial and defense aircraft avionics, air traffic control, railroad systems, financial services and medical devices. AdaCore has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.

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