OCE Technology is making a multi-core OS for ESA missions

26 May 2023

OCE Technology CEO Barry Kavanagh. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

The NovaUCD spin-out is partnering with Dublin-based Microchip to develop its multicore OS system.

Irish space-tech start-up OCE Technology has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a unique operating system (OS) for use in mission critical software.

The NovaUCD spin-out is developing software tools, real-time embedded system design and system-on-a-chip hardware products to support clients working in the space and aerospace sectors.

The company is also working on a multicore real-time OS called OCEOSmp, which it will develop further for the ESA contract. OCE Technology said this OS has “unique, patent-pending features  that provide high reliability and efficiency in running software on multicore computer systems”.

The Irish start-up said multicore systems are being adopted more by the ESA and other space agencies as a means to increase the performance of computers. The design means an OS can distribute tasks across multiple cores rather than having tasks take turns on a single core.

OCE Technology claims OCEOSmp can simplify “policing activities” and can react to problems before they become critical. For example, the start-up claims this OS can take cores out of use when faults are detected or adjust power consumption when appropriate.

The company said this OS also has uses in the automotive and medical sectors, with capabilities such as engine management, emissions monitoring, therapeutic devices, dialysis machines and other high-reliability systems.

“OCE is currently selling to the aerospace market but OCEOSmp is creating new opportunities for the company in other high-growth and global markets such as the smart manufacturing and medical industries,” said OCE CEO Barry Kavanagh.

The company is partnering with Dublin-based Microchip on the ESA project. This company provides embedded control applications and semiconductors.

Microchip associate director for IP engineering Cyril Jean said customers designing mission-critical systems “face the most challenging requirements for safety, security and reliability”.

In 2017, the ESA signed a deal with OCE Technology to use its debug tool aboard ESA satellites and spacecraft.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic