Design of Embedded Controllers for Safety Critical Systems

Project IST-2001-38314


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Description of the work

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The world of embedded systems is very large: it includes cellular phones, automobiles, industrial plants, home appliances, airplanes and toys. We focus on the domain of embedded controllers for safety critical systems. This domain presents the most challenging problems, it is characterized by hard real-time constraints, it has to be fault tolerant and design-error free, and it has to react to a non-deterministic adversary environment.


In COLUMBUS we advocate a holistic approach to the solution of the design problem: our approach includes methodology, supporting tools, IPís, hardware and software platforms, and supply chain management. Only by taking a global, high-level view of the problem, can we devise solutions that are going to have a real impact on the design of embedded systems.

On one hand, to facilitate the design of error-free systems, we need to start from a high-level abstraction of system functionality that is completely implementation independent and rests upon solid theoretical foundations that will allow formal analysis.

On the other, we need to select the platform that can support the functionality meeting the physical constraints placed on the final implementation. Once the functional aspects of the design have been verified and an implementation platform selected, we need to implement the functionality onto the platform so that its properties of interest are maintained and the physical constraints are indeed met.