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AFDX is gaining traction all over the avionics market, and even in some surprising areas outside of avionics, because it offers adopters the advantages of Ethernet network connectivity and bandwidth that they have been waiting to make use of for many years. This paper will begin by outlining some basic principles of AFDX versus standard Ethernet and explaining why it is such an important standard with respect to providing the inherent safety and security mechanisms that the avionics community requires. It will then discuss AFDX end system implementation options by contrasting many of the most common arguments for and against the implementation of an end system AFDX stack in software versus hardware. This paper will go on to provide some practical insight by examining a real software AFDX end system implementation and will provide feedback on the experience gained during the development of that implementation, including practical limitations, measured performance, processing platform considerations and lessons learned. In conclusion the paper will consider some possible future AFDX enhancements, look at industry trends and provide a look at other market segments that appear to be seriously considering the adoption of AFDX, and will attempt to provide some reasons why.
Date of Conference: 23-29 Oct. 2009