Full title: Distributed REal-time Architecture for Mixed criticality Systems

Type: EU FP7

Webpage link: http://dreams-project.eu/

Duration: 01/10/2013 to 30/09/2017

Budget: EUR 15 580 350


In many domains such as avionics, industrial control, or healthcare there is an increasing trend for mixed-criticality systems, where multiple functions with different importance and certification assur-ance levels are integrated using a shared computing platform. The foundations for this integration are mechanisms for temporal and spatial partitioning, although key technological challenges are yet un-solved including the combination of software virtualization and hardware segregation and the exten-sion of partitioning mechanisms to jointly address significant extra functional requirements (e.g., time, energy and power budgets, reliability, safety, security, etc.). Furthermore, platforms encompassing networked multi-core chips will be required in many mixed-criticality systems. In addition to require-ments exceeding the resources of a single chip, today’s technology does not support the manufacturing of electronic devices with failure rates low enough to meet the reliability requirements of ultra-dependable systems.

The objective of DREAMS was to develop a cross-domain architecture and design tools for networked complex systems where application subsystems of different criticality, executing on networked multi-core chips, are supported. 
DREAMS delivered architectural concepts, meta-models, virtualization technologies, model-driven development methods, tools, adaptation strategies and validation, verification and certification meth-ods for the seamless integration of mixed-criticality to establish security, safety, real-time performance as well as data, energy and system integrity.

DREAMS leveraged multi-core platforms for a hierarchical system perspective of mixed-criticality applications combining the chip- and cluster-level. This system perspective was established by virtualization (e.g., secure and timely end-to-end channels with different on-chip and off-chip segments), platform models and tools and integrated resource management resulting in higher flexibility, adapta-bility and energy efficiency.

The consortium consisted of major embedded system suppliers and OEMs encompassing a broad range of application domains (avionics, wind power, healthcare), supported by leading research and academ-ic organizations.

DREAMS significantly reduced development lifecycle and certification efforts and enable mixed-criticality product lines. The impact further included a reduction of time-to-market, decreased development, deployment and maintenance cost, and the exploitation of the economies of scale through cross-domain components and tools. By design, DREAMS enabled the integration of systems mixing different criticality levels at a cost significantly smaller than the compound of individual systems. DREAMS resulted in the reduction of material and maintenance costs due to strongly reduced need for overprovisioning of hardware resources and a significant reduction of operational costs through simpler hardware, reduced wasteful spatial separation of components, reduced wiring and fewer component types. The project further lead to increased take-up of European computing technologies in industry and improved system characteristics (e.g., reliability, safety, security, resource efficiency, adaptability).

Based on the strong foundation in European and national initiatives, DREAMS will establish a Europe-an reference architecture for mixed-criticality systems by consolidating and extending platform tech-nologies and development methods. The project will actively contribute to community building and standardization to facilitate industrial harmonization and uptake of results. The community will liaise with standardization bodies and provide a single point of contact for interested stakeholders. The pro-ject will also establish a European innovation roadmap for research in mixed-criticality systems and provide a community infrastructure.