Development of a Time-Triggered Ethernet Intellectual Property Block

Navy SBIR 22.1 - Topic N221-080
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Opens: January 12, 2022 - Closes: February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N221-080 TITLE: Development of a Time-Triggered Ethernet Intellectual Property Block

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR);Hypersonics;Space

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platforms;Battlespace Environments;Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an implementation of a Time-Triggered Ethernet (TTEthernet) Intellectual Property (IP) block for hard real-time control applications in next-generation avionics architectures.

DESCRIPTION: Currently, non-deterministic Ethernet (as defined by IEEE 802.3 [Ref 3]) is utilized in many of the Navyís weapon and avionics systems, including hypersonics. While commonly used for non-critical data, non-deterministic Ethernet does not provide temporal guarantees on data delivery needed for safety-critical real-time control. This often necessitates the use of a secondary, supplemental, real-time network for safety-critical applications. In high threshold, event-driven applications, such as hypersonics, non-deterministic Ethernet limits data rates. The data network in this weapon system plays a crucial role in error prevention and failure recovery, and in high-speed systems, time critical data is vital for mission success. Developing an event-driven, real-time deterministic Ethernet system has the potential to accommodate the full spectrum of traffic criticality levels required in hard real-time applications such as hypersonic systems, as well as a variety of aerospace systems. Time-Triggered Ethernet (TTEthernet, as defined by SAE AS6802 [Ref 2]) unifies real-time and non-deterministic traffic into a single coherent Ethernet-based communication network. Foreign-based TTEthernet implementations are already in use on NASAís Orion spacecraft (NASA Spinoff) [Ref 1].

The U.S. Navy desires a U.S.-based implementation of trusted TTEthernet available in the form of an IP block for inclusion in future aerospace microelectronics. The implementation should consist of the following:

  • Must comply with SAE AS6802 (Society of Automotive Engineers)
  • Must be operable with non-deterministic Ethernet networks ( IEEE 802.3 (IEEE))
  • Must include both Endpoint and Network Switch implementations
  • Be capable of 10/100/1000 Mbit/sec operations
  • Be available in either Verilog, SystemVerilog, or VHDL
  • Be fully synthesizable in at least two technology nodes, examples include Intel 22FFL, GlobalFoundries 12LP, and Skywater 90RH
  • Must include a verification suite
  • Must include full government purpose rights to all design and verification IP
  • Must include 32-bit user application layer compliant with RISCV and ARM processor core bus standards such as AXI4-ST
  • Be certifiable

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and SSP in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Provide a proof-of-concept IP block that implements either Endpoint or Switch functionality and is capable of at least 10Mbit/sec operation with a path towards synthesis on at least one of the above mentioned technology nodes. This IP block must also include an initial verification suite.

The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Provide the TTEthernet IP block as specified in the Description and fabricate a validation Integrated Circuit (IC) containing the IP block on at least one of the above-mentioned technology nodes. Both the IP block and fabricated IC will be made available to the U.S. Navy. The developed prototype shall meet all performance and technical requirements listed in the Description section above. Furthermore, the prototype shall be either benchtop tested or tested in a relevant environment such as a sounding rocket.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the resulting IP block to deployment on at least one future IC developed by the Navy and/or its contractors. This likely includes radiation-hardened ICs used in hypersonic applications. Work with the government to validate and qualify the resulting technology via sounding rocket campaigns, HWIL validation simulations, and eventually all-up flight testing. Developing an event-driven, real-time deterministic Ethernet system has the potential to accommodate the full spectrum of traffic criticality levels required in hard real-time applications such as hypersonic systems, as well as a variety of aerospace systems. Additionally, commercial rocket and space sectors could utilize this technology in their rockets/spacecraft systems.

REFERENCES:

  1. NASA Spinoff, "Time-Triggered Ethernet Slims Down Critical Data Systems," . https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2018/t_4.html.
  2. Society of Automotive Engineers, "Time-Triggered Ethernet AS6802," https://www.sae.org/standards/content/as6802/.
  3. IEEE, "802.3-2018 - IEEE Standard for Ethernet," https://standards.ieee.org/standard/802_3-2018.html.

KEYWORDS: Time-Triggered Ethernet; TTEthernet; Hypersonics; Avionics; Time-critical, Real-Time Systems; Data Rates

** TOPIC NOTICE **

The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at rt.cto.mil/rtl-small-business-resources/sbir-sttr/ for any updates.

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