Xilinx Targets RTCA/DO-254, EUROCAE/ED-80 Standards for Avionics

Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX), the world’s leading programmable logic supplier to the aerospace and defense industry, is mobilizing a global ecosystem of technology and service providers, industry-proven tool flows, and design expertise to aid the development of avionics systems certified to U.S. RTCA/DO-254 and its European equivalent EUROCAE/ED-80 standards. These efforts build on the existing DO-254-capable Xilinx(R) Virtex(R) and Spartan(R) silicon platforms to ensure that avionics developers continue to benefit from the flexibility, performance, and reliability of current programmable technologies and Xilinx’s next-generation products.

DO-254 is a standard for developing complex electronic hardware in airborne systems, including programmable logic devices (PLDs) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and is required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in new commercial aircraft systems.

“Today’s announcement reinforces our global support for avionics developers that must comply with DO-254 and ED-80 standards,” said Ian Land, senior manager for Aerospace and Defense Marketing at Xilinx. “Developers across the world use Xilinx Virtex FPGA and Spartan FPGA platforms with our industry-standard ISE software tools to create their system designs. By expanding our collaboration with other technology leaders, industry experts, and the user community, we can more effectively and rapidly deliver the practical guidance and DO-254 implementation support needed to reduce the cost, risk and time to market of next-generation avionics.”

Global Mobilization Efforts Underway
Xilinx’s global ecosystem of DO-254 providers initially includes: Aldec, Inc.; LynuxWorks, Inc.; Mentor Graphics Corp.; and Patmos Engineering Services, Inc. In addition, Xilinx and more than 15 other companies participated in the first North America Chapter meeting of the U.S. DO-254 User Group hosted by Xilinx at its San Jose, Calif. headquarters on January 14 and 15, 2009. To further assist its global DO-254 network and avionics developers, Xilinx is also making available a new industry white paper, entitled “Meeting DO-254 and ED-80 Guidelines when using Xilinx FPGA”, that can be downloaded at: www.xilinx.com/esp/aero_def/do254.htm.

“As the complexities of FPGA and ASIC products increase with available technology, so do the tools and processes used in the development and verification of these devices,” said Tammy Reeve, FAA DER at Patmos. “Patmos understands how crucial it is to be working with companies like Xilinx and Mentor Graphics in order to keep pace with the technology specific issues that may affect FAA certification-related compliance.”

“We are excited that Xilinx has also taken the initiative to support the specific needs of companies having to comply with DO-254,” said Michelle Lange, DO-254 program manager for Mentor Graphics. “As the two biggest suppliers to this market — Mentor Graphics for design automation solutions and Xilinx for FPGA silicon — we are working together to create an integrated development tool flow for the benefit of our joint customers. The result will be an end-to-end solution including requirements traceability and advanced verification (e.g., formal methods) that is highly tuned to the unique needs of this marketplace.”

“By making the LynxOS-178 operating system available on Xilinx hardware, our mutual customers now have a platform that provides both RTCA/DO-178B, Level A and RTCA/DO-254 design assurance level A compliance,” said Joe Wlad, FAA DER and director of certification services at LynuxWorks. “Our customers have demanded a safety-critical solution that allows them the ability to change configurations in the field without requiring recertification. The combination of LynxOS-178 executing on a Xilinx FPGA is a powerful and flexible solution that meets the needs of the safety critical developers everywhere.”

“Aldec continues to see adoption for its industry-proven DO-254 Compliance Tool Set (CTS). Xilinx establishment of a DO-254 ecosystem will enable close cooperation with our mutual customers seeking DO-254 compliant verification tools including complex FPGAs from Xilinx,” said Lori Nguyen, director of marketing at Aldec. “Aldec together with Xilinx and its DO-254 network will bring a powerful solution to mutual customers and the aerospace market by providing a unique DO-254 verification tool set offering at-speed, in-hardware simulation of the design in the target Xilinx FPGA device.”

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