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All too often, software designers ignore the fact that a running computer system is a combination of software and hardware. In this combination, hardware may play a crucial role, particularly in time-sensitive systems. In this paper, we first explore the nature and impact that platforms may have on application software and its design. Based on this analysis, a canonical model of software platforms is proposed to assist in more accurately factoring in the effects of platforms on the design of real-time and embedded software applications. Finally, we show how this model can be realized using modern model-driven design standards and methods.
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