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The engineering of supersystems

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1 Author(s)

An everyday mobile phone contains two to four processors executing several hundred million instructions per second (MIPS) in closely coupled or networked configurations that implement the mobile modem as software on a single digital signal processor (DSP). The base stations controlling wireless and wireline communications systems are themselves a hierarchy of closely coupled systems with multiprocessor (typically DSP) subsystems executing billions of instructions per second. A complete base station can incorporate from five to 20 subsystems and 100 separate processors. These supersystems, incorporating possibly dozens of processors in closely coupled or networked topologies, pose a design challenge at least equal to that of designing the component systems and processors. Supersystem design and verification must address hardware complexity that increases with each successive generation of a product family, as well as embedded software content that increases exponentially with time.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 1 )