Rockwell Collins Selects GNAT Pro for Advanced Avionics Display System

GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for DO-178B used for EFIS/EICAS upgrade and modernization

SAN JOSE, Calif., NEW YORK and PARIS, May 2, 2011 – Embedded Systems Conference – AdaCore, a leading supplier of Ada development tools and support services, today announced that Rockwell Collins has adopted AdaCore’s GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for DO-178B to implement the Electronic Flight Instrument System / Engine Indication and Crew Alert System (EFIS/EICAS) Interface Unit, model EIU-7001. These are key components of an advanced avionics display system that is being deployed on major jet aircraft. Rockwell Collins is using the GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for bare board PowerPC ELF as the cross-compilation environment for developing this new-generation software.

Rockwell Collins selected the GNAT Pro tool chain to port the existing Ada codebase from the aircraft’s previous display system to a modern processor, as the most efficient and lowest risk approach to system modernization. Using the Ada language and GNAT Pro has allowed Rockwell Collins to easily integrate the proven legacy codebase while adding several new features from other Rockwell Collins products. By using this approach, the company has been able to quickly port the existing code and get it running on the new platform.

The GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for DO-178B development environment includes several run-time libraries that are fully certifiable to DO-178B Level A requirements. For the EIU-7001display system project, Rockwell Collins has selected the Zero-Footprint (ZFP) run-time library, corresponding to a sequential Ada subset that eliminates both non-deterministic and complex language features. Use of this clearly-defined subset has significantly reduced the Rockwell Collins certification effort.

A core requirement for the display system is the ability to run on processors that can support the many new features required for modern aircraft. The largest part of the EIU-7001 display system development effort has been the migration of the Electronic Flight Instrument System / Engine Indication and Crew Alert System (EFIS/EICAS) Interface Unit (EIU) to the new target processor. The original EIU was designed in the late 1980's using the Rockwell Collins AAMP platform. For the EIU-7001, significantly more processing capability was required to support the modern flight deck. The new EIU-7001 meets the current display system capabilities with spare capacity as additional functionality is required in the future.

“We have a long and successful relationship with Rockwell Collins as an AdaCore customer, and we are pleased that their EUI-7001 display system project is using our GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition,” said Robert Dewar, AdaCore President and CEO. “This product is well-suited for the highest levels of safety certification. It provides the full GNAT Pro Ada compilation system, accompanied by development and testing tools as well as a set of certifiable run-time libraries that can be used “as is” or tailored to the application’s requirements.”

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 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 commercial aircraft avionics, military systems, air traffic management/control, railroad systems, and medical devices, and in security-sensitive domains such as financial services.

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

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