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Monday, 7 February 2011

Performance Evaluation of Embedded Microcomputers for Avionics Applications

Embedded microcomputers are used in a wide range of applications nowadays. Avionics is one of these areas and requires extra attention regarding reliability and determinism. Thus, these issues should also be born in mind in addition to performance when evaluating embedded microcomputers.

This master thesis suggests a framework for performance evaluation of two members of the PowerPC microprocessor family, namely the MPC5554 from Freescale and PPC440EPx from AMCC, and analyzes the results within and between these processors. The framework can be generalized to be used in any microprocessor family, if required.

Apart from performance evaluation, this thesis also suggests also a new terminology by introducing the concept of determinism levels to be able to estimate determinism issues in avionics applications more clearly, which is crucial regarding the requirements and working conditions of this very application. Such estimation does not include any practical results as in performance evaluation, but rather remains theoretical. Similar to Automark™ used by AutoBench™ in the EEMBC Benchmark Suite, we introduce a new performance metric score that we call ”Aviomark” and we carry out a detailed comparison of Aviomark with the traditional Automark™ score to be able to see how Aviomark differs from Automark™ in behavior.

Finally, we have developed a graphical user interface (GUI) which works in parallel with the Green Hills MULTI Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in order to simplify and automate the evaluation process. By the help of the GUI, the users will be able to easily evaluate their specific PowerPC processors by starting the debugging from MULTI IDE.
Authors: Celal Can Bilen, John Alcalde González
Source: Jönköping University

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