Michigan Tech Senior Design Team Selects DDC-I to Evaluate Real-Time Java for Major Industrial Equipment Maker

DDC-I’s Scorpion™ Java Environment Provides Test Bed for Evaluating Java-Based Real-Time Engine Control

Phoenix, AZ. February 12, 2008. DDC-I, a leading supplier of development tools for safety-critical applications, today announced that a research team at Michigan Technological University has selected DDC-I’s Scorpion environment to evaluate the feasibility of real-time Java. The four-month study will be conducted on behalf of a major supplier of industrial equipment, which is considering using Java for real-time engine control.

Scorpion is the industry’s most responsive Java solution for hard real-time applications. The Eclipse-based Java environment, which supports the Real-Time Specification for Java (RTSJ), and the emerging safety-critical Java specification, delivers two orders of magnitude lower latency than traditional real-time Java solutions. Scorpion is very memory efficient, particularly when coupled with DDC-I’s POSIX-Lite run-time scheduler. Scorpion is also the first Java solution to support mixed language development, which makes it possible to combine Java with other languages such as C, Embedded C++, and Ada.

The Michigan Tech team will use a 32-bit Power Architecture technology-based Freescale MPC5553 embedded micro-controller, which is optimized for automotive embedded control applications, to conduct its evaluation. The Scorpion environment will be used to compile a series of engine control loops written in Java for execution on the MPC5553. These critical control loops, which have traditionally been written in C or assembly language, require deterministic, sub-millisecond response, and provide the ultimate test of Real Time Java’s suitability for real-time engine control. To minimize memory usage, the team will utilize DDC-I’s POSIX-Lite run-time scheduler), enabling them to create multi-threaded applications without the overhead of a conventional COTS RTOS.

“Java is fast becoming the language of choice for embedded developers who require a safe, rich, familiar programming environment,” said Bob Morris, president and CEO of DDC-I. “The availability of fast, small footprint, real-time solutions like Scorpion extends the reach of Java to even hard real-time applications such as real-time engine control. With Scorpion’s mixed language capability, programmers can start fresh with Java, or quickly migrate existing programs written in traditional languages such as C, Embedded C++ or Ada.”

“We were attracted to Scorpion for several reasons,” said Michigan Tech computer engineering senior Eric Domeier. “In addition to its small footprint, which enables us to run on the 55xx processor family, Scorpion provides the fast response and deterministic garbage collection needed to reliably execute the time-critical control loops required for engine control.” Eric Domeier is working on the year-long, capstone project with three other Michigan Tech Computer Engineering seniors, Sean Carlson, Staci McNelis and Andy Miller.

More on Scorpion

Scorpion is implemented as an Eclipse plug-in, which enables it to be used with a variety of Eclipse-based, mixed-language integrated development environments, including DDC-I’s own OpenArbor™ IDE, and popular third party IDEs such as the Wind River Workbench. Scorpion features a Java compiler, a builder for ahead-of-time Java file compilation, and a virtual machine for executing real-time Java applications. Scorpion also features a smart linker that reduces code size by typically 80%, and a profiler that helps optimize speed/size tradeoffs for mixtures of compiled and interpreted code.

Scorpion features deterministic garbage collection, a prerequisite for executing bounded, hard real-time applications. The Scorpion garbage collector is fully distributed, which reduces the overall complexity of programming in real-time Java. The Scorpion garbage collector also enhances memory efficiency and performance by reducing garbage accumulation and the memory/time required to store and collect it.

To facilitate mixed-language development, Scorpion provides a wizard that maps Java native method calls directly to existing Ada/C code, thereby enabling Java programs to call existing C and Ada programs. This unique tool makes it easy to combine Java with other languages in the same application. It also simplifies the migration of legacy C and Ada programs to Java.

About DDC-I, Inc.
DDC-I, Inc. is a global supplier of software development tools, custom software development services, and legacy software system modernization solutions, with a primary focus on safety-critical applications. DDC-I’s customer base is an impressive “who’s who” in the commercial, military, aerospace, and safety-critical industries. DDC-I offers compilers, integrated development environments and run-time systems for Embedded Java, C, Embedded C++, Ada, JOVIAL and Fortran application development.

For more information about DDC-I products, contact DDC-I at 1825 E. Northern Ave., Suite #125, Phoenix, Arizona 85020; phone (602) 275-7172; fax (602) 252-6054; e-mail sales@ddci.com or visit http://www.ddci.com.

More about Michigan Tech
Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer. Since 1885, Michigan Tech has offered educational excellence in beautiful Upper Michigan. Students create the future in arts, humanities, and social sciences; business and economics; computing; engineering; forestry and environmental science; the sciences; and technology. www.mtu.edu

More about Michigan Tech’s Senior Design Program
Michigan Tech’s Senior Design program provides the kind of real-world design-team experience that can launch graduates into successful engineering careers. The program provides students with opportunities to connect theory and application while working on open-ended, industrial projects throughout their entire senior year. Students gain the skills necessary to conceive, specify, develop, test, implement, and market engineered solutions. Industry partners are critical to the program’s success.

Michigan Tech Senior Design Team Selects DDC-I to Evaluate Real-Time Java for Major Industrial Equipment Maker