Journal of Computer Science

Impact of the Use of Object Request Broker Middleware for Inter-Component Communications in C6416 Digital Signal Processor Based Software Communications Architecture Radio Systems

Wael A. Murtada, Mohamed M. Zahra, Magdi Fikri, Mohamed I. Yousef and Salwa El-Ramly

DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2012.957.964

Journal of Computer Science

Volume 8, Issue 6

Pages 957-964


Problem statement: This study presents an in-depth analysis of the performance of Software Communications Architecture (SCA) component-based waveform applications in terms of inter-component communications. The main limitation with SCA, in the context of embedded systems, is the additional cost introduced by the use of Object Request Broker (ORB) middleware. The ORB middleware handles the interaction between components and objects in SCA distributed environment. This interaction should be highly efficient, due to the real time nature of SCA systems and transparent to the application programmer. Approach: We can achieve high efficiency in SCA systems by enhancing the Inter-Process Communications (IPC) mechanisms in Operating systems (OS) micro kernels, while we achieve transparency through Interface Definition Language (IDL). Different encoding mechanisms like “External Data Representation (XDR), Network Data Representation (NDR) and Common Data Representation (CDR) facilitate inter-component communication transparently and efficiently”. Marshalling procedures format data from the local machine representation to common network representations. A most common encoding mechanism for Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) systems is CDR representation. Measurements have been performed with ORBExpress DSP as a CORBA distribution and Open Source SCA Implementation Embedded (OSSIE) for SCA implementation. In order to perform these measurements we proposed two metrics for profiling the ORB that are invocation and marshalling. In addition, we propose three elements of data types to evaluate the performance of ORB middleware that are, Basic, Array and Sequence data types. Results: The CORBA bus is really the part, which brings an overhead to the SCA radio systems. This overhead is due to method invocations that have been carried out by ORB middleware. Conclusion: Performance benchmarks of ORBExpress DSP middleware show that, although using CORBA for inter-component communications introduces delays and overheads, the overall effect can be reduced by sending packets of data instead of basic data type elements.


© 2012 Wael A. Murtada, Mohamed M. Zahra, Magdi Fikri, Mohamed I. Yousef and Salwa El-Ramly. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.