BSC develops unique safety features unlocking full processor performance for safety-critical real-time systems in SELENE

04 May 2020

Existing hardware and software platforms for safety-critical systems suffer from limited performance and lack of flexibility due to building on specific proprietary components, which jeopardize their wide deployment across domains. A number of HPC commercial off-the-shelf platforms offer the computation capabilities needed by autonomous systems in domains such as automotive, space, avionics, robotics and factory automation, but their utilization is traditionally considered out of the reach of industry due to the difficulties of the certification process.

The European project SELENE aims at covering this gap by proposing a new family of safety-critical computing platforms that builds upon open source components such as RISC-V cores, GNU/Linux, and Jailhouse hypervisor.

BSC’s researchers have a long record of research in safety-critical real-time systems leading them to solutions that reconcile the disparity of demands between the high-performance requirements and the safety-critical requirements. In the context of SELENE, BSC will provide enhanced hardware-monitoring and diverse-redundancy solutions.

“Throughout years of research, BSC has developed the know-how to reconcile high-performance and safety demands in the safety-critical domain. SELENE offers a unique opportunity to materialize this know-how in an industrial setup.“, said Jaume Abella, BSC Principal Investigator for SELENE and senior researcher of the Computer Architecture - Operating System research department.

The SELENE enhanced hardware-monitoring will enable end-users to test multicore timing interference, needed to attain confidence in the timing verification process, as well as to diagnose overruns during operation. As for the diverse-redundancy solutions, it will provide flexibility to the platform by being able to execute high-criticality tasks in a high-reliability configuration reaching robustness levels needed, or performance demanding tasks in a high-performance mode, using the same hardware cores in both modes. These features are crucial to close the existing gap between critical and high-performance systems.


SELENE (Self-monitored Dependable platform for High-Performance Safety-Critical Systems) is a European funded project with a budget of €4,9 million which started on 1 December 2019 and ends on 30 November 2022. Coordinated by Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), the project brings together a multidisciplinary consortium composed by:

  • UPV, Cobham Gaisler, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and SIEMENS (Austria) as hardware technology providers;
  • SIEMENS (Germany), OpenTech, and Ikerlan as software providers and safety experts;
  • Virtual Vehicles, CAF Signalling and Airbus Defence and Space as use cases demonstrators.

Further information can be found in the project’s website:


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 871467.

* Caption: SELENE kick-off meeting in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center