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SIERA: a unified framework for rapid-prototyping of system-level hardware and software

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2 Author(s)
M. Srivastava ; AT&T Bell Labs., Murray Hill, NJ, USA ; R. W. Brodersen

Modern electronic systems contain a mix of software running on general-purpose programmable processors, algorithms hardwired into dedicated hardware such as custom boards and chips, electromechanical components, and mechanical interconnect and packaging. Far more time Is spent in designing the boards, writing the software to drive, and integrate the hardware, and other such system level issues, than is spent in designing any application-specific ICs that may be needed. Therefore a systems perspective of the design process is essential, as opposed to the conventional “chip-focused” approach. A design framework, called SIERA, for application-specific systems is described in which higher level aspects of system design, including software, multichip design issues present at the board level, and hardware-software integration are addressed, in addition to the design of individual custom chips. A high-level description of the system as a network of processes is mapped to a system architecture template consisting of multiple boards using dedicated hardware modules and ASIC's as well as software processes running on programmable hardware modules. Application of SIERA's design methodology to a multisensory robot control system is also presented

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 6 )