News from the Certification Together International Conference in Toulouse

I've recently come back to the office from a whirlwind European tour that included a few days at the Certification Together International Conference in Toulouse. We're pleased that Aeroconseil and Certification Together have been able to continue this conference series.

Attendance was similar to last year, around 300 attendees represented 90 organisations (companies and universities) across three days of presentations and workshops. For us, the important buzz was:

  • DO-178C. In the software track of the conference, we were pleased to see DO-178C receiving widespread coverage. The official release is almost upon us, and it is expected to provide much-needed clarity for tool vendors through the accompanying tool qualification guidance document. Our customers ask us all the right questions (the tough ones!) when it comes to qualification, and a dedicated tool qualification document provides a much-needed initial point of reference.
  • Multicore. Multicore processors aren't just a passing fad, they're here to stay. Economic forces have long pulled our tried-and-trusted technology forward into new areas, but this brings complexity into the design and risk into embedded systems, something that our customers are keen to analyse. In the hardware track, we noted that embedded system developers are concerned about the effect of this complexity on their ability to provide reliable predictions of software behaviour. Since our tools are focused on providing insight into the predictability of on-target behaviour, particularly worst-case execution time, this is naturally a concern for us as well. We're keeping a close eye not only on the technology, but on the wider process of validating and using timing measurements.

The next CTIC is scheduled for 2013. However, with the changes to the world of certification (both from the recently-published automotive standard ISO26262 and the new guidance provided alongside DO-178C) we're sure that 2012 will by no means be free of interesting certification-related events!