Multicore Systems – Challenges for the Real-Time Software Developer

Fridtjof Siebert


21 May 2010
ERTS2'10 - Embedded Real Time Software and Systems- ERTS2 2010 - Toulouse, France



Multicore systems have become the norm for desktop computer systems. The percentage of multicore systems in the embedded domain is still marginal, but growing at an incredible pace such that multicore will become the norm in the embedded area as well. However, embedded systems have additional requirements with respect to safety, reliability, and real-time behaviour. The use of parallel multicore systems introduces new challenges to the embedded systems developer who has to fulfill these requirements when developing new software or porting existing code to multicore systems.

This paper gives an overview over typical problems that arise with the use of multicore systems. Unfortunately, a multicore system in many cases does not behave the same as a single core system with multithreading. These differences may result in severe program errors. A good understanding of the sources of these errors is required.

Download: PDF icon PDF (160kB)