Specification and Design of Embedded Hardware-Software Systems

19 Nov 2010 Sandeep Mehta

For last few months, I have been working on developing a new design flow that brings ASIC like reuse and semiconductor like cost curve to all R&D.  The idea is that semiconductors have increased in complexity and performance exponentially, while costs has come down continuously.  How can we replicate the same for all system R&D?

One of the earliest papers on the topic was  Specification and Design of Embedded Hardware-Software Systems.  In retrospect, the place where it should have come up first anyway – system where electronics/semiconductor and other technologies interact.

“System specification and design consists of describing a system’s desired functionality, and of mapping that functionality for implementation on a set of system components, such as processors, ASIC’s, memories, and buses. In this article, we describe the key problems of system specification and design, including specification capture, design exploration, hierarchical modeling, software and hardware synthesis, and cosimulation. We highlight existing tools and methods for solving those problems, and we discuss issues that remain to be solved.”

The paper suggests five tasks:

  1. Specification capture: Specify desired system functionality
  2. Exploration: Explore design alternatives
  3. Specification refinement: Refine specifications based on exploration
  4. Software & Hardware design:
  5. Physical design:
Much more on this in the future.  But a good paper to start thinking about things.

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