European Union Funds INTERESTED Reference Tool Chain for Embedded Systems

The INTERESTED (INTERoperable Embedded Systems Tool chain for Enhanced rapid Design, prototyping and code generation) project, a new initiative targeting complex embedded systems and software development and funded under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme, has been announced. INTERESTED is focused on the creation of the first-ever European-wide, integrated and open reference tool chain covering the full spectrum of embedded systems and software development. INTERESTED’s aim is to realise a reference tool chain that is highly dependable, safe and efficient while also reducing the cost of deployment and maintenance by 50%. Delivery of the complete, integrated reference tool chain is expected by the end of 2010.

INTERESTED reference tool chain overviewINTERESTED brings together the leading European embedded tool vendors, whose tools form the basis for the integrated reference tool chain, with major European embedded tool users from a variety of industries who will validate the reference tool chain against real-world design requirements and applications. As well as creating a reference tool chain that draws on leading European embedded systems and software tools, the INTERESTED project will also provide interoperability with Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS), open source and in-house embedded design solutions.

Using standards-based integration and interoperability solutions, the INTERESTED tool chain will assimilate embedded tools into three distinct design domains – system and software design, networking and execution platform, and timing and code analysis. These design domains cover the full scope of embedded systems and software engineering from system and application software design modelling, verification and code generation through networking and RTOS execution platforms to hardware-dependent software verification and code generation as well as timing analysis and code execution verification.

The INTERESTED reference tool chain is intended primarily for use by companies operating within stringent quality control requirements on the development of complex safety and mission-critical embedded systems. Such companies must generally comply with formal certification processes such as DO-178B for aerospace, IEC 61508 for industry, EN 50128 for railways, IEC 60880 for energy power plants and DEF STD 00-56 for military requirements as well as the forthcoming ISO 26262 automotive safety standard.

“The INTERESTED project will significantly improve Europe’s performance and competitiveness with regard to embedded development particularly in relation to complex safety and mission-critical systems,” said Eric Bantegnie, CEO of Esterel Technologies and co-ordinator of the INTERESTED consortium. “INTERESTED will facilitate the move from a collection of point tools that individually automate particular functions to a comprehensive reference tool chain of interoperable and integrated tools that supports all the major processes of embedded systems and software development. This extends from requirements capture down to the actual integration of the code on target, including verification and validation. The INTERESTED project represents a major opportunity to improve the cost, quality and time-to-market of embedded systems in Europe.”

European embedded tool vendors who are members of the INTERESTED consortium include AbsInt Angewandte Informatik (Germany), Artisan Software Tools (UK), Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (France), Esterel Technologies (France), Evidence (Italy), Symtavision (Germany), Sysgo (Germany), TTTech Computertechnik (Austria) and Unis (Czech Republic). The INTERESTED consortium also includes major European companies that are extensive users of embedded systems and software development tools. Representing primary target application areas for the INTERESTED embedded tool chain such as military and aerospace, automotive, rail transportation and energy systems, they include Airbus (France), Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (France), Magneti Marelli Powertrain (Italy), Siemens Mobility Division, Rail Automation (Germany), and Thales (France). They will contribute valuable domain knowledge on tool chain requirements such as content, features, structure and interoperability architecture. Additionally, they will validate the INTERESTED reference tool chain against their real-world design, interoperability and cost reduction requirements.

“The INTERESTED project will meet the tool chain requirements of major European companies across a broad spectrum of industries whose worldwide leadership position increasingly depends on the development of complex embedded systems and software,” concluded James B. Gambrell, CEO of Artisan Software Tools and marketing spokesperson for the INTERESTED consortium.

More information: INTERESTED project