1995 Design Automation Conference Tutorial: CAD for Digital Embedded Systems (ABSTRACT)

Philip J. Koopman, Jr

Presented on June 16, 1995

Introduction -- slide show

Industrial Practice -- slide show

Organizer: Rajesh K. Gupta - Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Rajesh K. Gupta - Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Philip J. Koopman, Jr. - United Technologies Research Ctr., East Hartford, CT
Andrew Wolfe - Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ

Audience: This tutorial is targeted for engineers, CAD tool developers and researchers who are interested in learning about the recent developments in design practice, methodology and automation techniques for embedded systems.

Description:This tutorial is on the design and design automation of embedded systems (ES), composed of interacting hardware and software components. Embedded systems are a far bigger market than general purpose computing systems. Also embedded systems have constraints beyond those typically encountered in general-purpose computing environments, including those on size, power, real-time performance, reliability and very low cost. While some of these issues are being considered in portable computer designs, ES typically have much more stringent requirements and thus result in different design tradeoffs. To elaborate, we consider examples from avionics, automotive, industrial and military electronics that span orders of magnitude in a cost, complexity, and performance requirements.

Recent years have seen proliferation of highly automated design tools in the design of microelectronic ICs. However, penetration of CAD tools to ES design is uneven at best. The problem of embedded system design automation is an inherently different task compared to chip or software design since there is a greater emphasis to use predesigned components with fixed interfaces to achieve cost reductions. Further, the use of CAD tools implies a methodical approach to design that is often lacking in practice. Thus, it is important to consider use of CAD tools in view of an overall product design methodology. We explore the limitations of current CAD tools and identify problems that can be effectively addressed using CAD techniques. We present estimation techniques and use of design constraints in implementation of embedded system hardware and software. We present challenges and review the progress in utilization of microelectronic hardware and software synthesis techniques for embedded systems. We begin by an introduction to distinquishing features and representative problems illustrated by real-life examples of ES. We explore the effect of ES--specific issues on the role of CAD. A systems engineering perspective of ES design using multiple levels of design abstraction, where highest levels address logistics issues, mid level methodologies and analysis, and low levels have turn-key automation or synthesis. We take a dynamic view of research in CAD creating methodologies and tools for increasingly higher levels of abstraction.

Recent progress in hardware and software specific transformations, retargetable code generation for embeddable software, current software design practice. Visual vs. language-based design tools. Software based design optimization and software verification for ES.

Co-synthesis based approach to ESDA that utilize performance estimation techniques and links to high-level synthesis and code compilation techniques. Industrial practice on ES design and the trends in industry based on analysis of trade shows and articles in ES magazines. Integration of digital design automation with other disciplines such as mechanical design.


Phil Koopman -- koopman@cmu.edu