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Consumer demand and improvements in hardware have caused distributed real-time embedded systems to rapidly increase in complexity. As a result, designers faced with time-to-market constraints are forced to rely on intelligent design tools to enable them to keep up with demand. These tools are continually being used earlier in the design process when the design is at higher levels of abstraction. At the highest level of abstraction are hardware/software co-synthesis tools which take a system specification as input. Although many embedded systems are described in C, the system specifications for many of these tools are often in the form of one or more task graphs. These tools are very effective at solving the co-synthesis problem using task graphs but require that designers manually transform the specification from C code to task graphs, a tedious and error-prone job. The task graph extraction tool described in this paper reduces the potential for error and the time required to design an embedded system by automating the task graph extraction process. Such a tool can drastically improve designer productivity. As far as we know, this is the first tool of its kind. It has been made available on the web.
Date of Conference: 4-8 Jan. 2003