Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 11–33 | Cite as

A Model-based approach for the synthesis of software to firmware adapters for use with automatically generated components

  • Marco Di Natale
  • David Perillo
  • Francesco Chirico
  • Andrea Sindico
  • Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli
Special Section Paper


This paper presents the MDE process in use at Elettronica SpA (ELT) for the development of complex embedded systems integrating software and firmware. The process is based on the adoption of SysML as the system-level modeling language and the use of Simulink for the refinement of selected subsystems. Implementations are generated automatically for both the software (C++ code) and firmware parts, and communication adapters are automatically generated from SysML using a dedicated profile and open-source tools for modeling and code generation. The process starts from a SysML system model, developed according to the platform-based design paradigm, in which a functional model of the system is paired to a model of the execution platform. Subsystems are refined as Simulink models or hand-coded in C++. An implementation for Simulink models is generated as software code or firmware on FPGA. Based on the SysML system architecture specification, our framework drives the generation of Simulink models with consistent interfaces, allows the automatic generation of the communication code among all subsystems (including the HW–FW interface code). In addition, it provides for the automatic generation of connectors for system-level simulation and of test harnesses and mockups to ease the integration and verification stage. We provide early results on the time savings obtained by using these technologies in the development process.


System engineering Model-driven architecture Model-based design Platform-based design Automatic code generation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Di Natale
    • 1
  • David Perillo
    • 2
  • Francesco Chirico
    • 2
  • Andrea Sindico
    • 2
  • Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli
    • 3
  1. 1.Scuola Superiore S. Anna, TeCIP institutePisaItaly
  2. 2.Elettronica S.p.A.RomeItaly
  3. 3.University of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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