Design of Embedded Controllers for Safety Critical Systems

Project IST-2001-38314


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Hybrid System Modeling

Stochastic Control and Analysis of Hybrid Systems
Theory of Meta Models
Meta Modeling Tools
Platform Based Design
Design Flow




Embedded Software Design

Home Work Plan Embedded Software Design


Europe has always been sensitive to issues touching upon system level design given the structure of the European electronic industry that is much heavier on the system side than on the semiconductor side. To quote some of the European initiatives, we looked at the "Technology Roadmap on Software-Intensive Systems: The Vision of ITEAĒ. The major challenges for System Engineering, Software Engineering and Engineering Process Support noted by ITEA include:



Increase Reuse


Hardware/Software co-design


Modeling non-functional properties


Move from products to services via Software Components


System and SW architecture


Validation and verification at the system level


Adaptation of HW and SW via re-configurable architectures and component plug and play


Composable SW systems using reusable SW components, integration and certification of components


Support of parallel development via integration technology


Development of common workflow and process standards in semantics.


ITEA also looked at possible evolution trends, and underlined:

Formal verification, co-design flows, reuse and integration of components, (this was highlighted as a major need), platform/function co-design, unified HW/SW flows, and domain/architecture co-design. In particular, "Component reuse standards to allow intellectual property design to be introduced into the embedded software design world", a quiet and subtle nod to the fact that in HW, IP design and reuse is more common than in embedded SW.    Several key issues in efficient component reuse are configurability (to allow optimized reuse), decomposition and modularity, and carefully crafted interfaces.


Our vision for ESW is to change radically the way in which ESW is developed today by:

Linking ESW up-wards in the abstraction layers to system functionality;

Linking ESW to the programmable platforms that support it thus providing the much needed means to verify whether the constraints posed on ES are met.


We already reasoned about some of the concerns that are typical of ESW that are not commonly understood in the software community. In addition, we stress that the research agenda has to address these very issues if we wish to come out of the ESW quagmire. The approach we advocate is holistic: it 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. The essential issue to resolve is the link between functionality and programmable platforms. 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. We also need to select the platform that can support the functionality meeting the physical constraints placed on the final implementation. We need to implement the functionality onto the platform so that its properties of interest are maintained and the physical constraints are indeed met. The following work packages are intended to address these issues.