A framework for modular analysis and exploration of heterogeneous embedded systems


The increasing complexity of heterogeneous systems-on-chip, SoC, and distributed embedded systems makes system optimization and exploration a challenging task. Ideally, a designer would try all possible system configurations and choose the best one regarding specific system requirements. Unfortunately, such an approach is not possible because of the tremendous number of design parameters with sophisticated effects on system properties. Consequently, good search techniques are needed to find design alternatives that best meet constraints and cost criteria. In this paper, we present a compositional design space exploration framework for system optimization and exploration using SymTA/S, a software tool for formal performance analysis. In contrast to many previous approaches pursuing closed automated exploration strategies over large sets of system parameters, our approach allows the designer to effectively control the exploration process to quickly find good design alternatives. An important aspect and key novelty of our approach is system optimization with traffic shaping.

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Correspondence to Arne Hamann.

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Arne Hamann received his Maîtrise degree in Computer Science from the University of Bordeaux 1, France, in 2001, and his Diploma degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, in 2003. He is currently working as research scientist in the Embedded System Design Automation Group of Professor Ernst. His research interests include formal timing analysis and optimization of heterogeneous distributed real-time systems.

Dr. Kai Richter received a Diploma and a doctoral degree “summa cum laude” in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany in 1998 and 2004. He authored more than 40 papers in internationally recognised journals and conferences. His research interests include timing and performance analysis of distributed embedded systems and embedded system architectures. Since 2005, he is co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Symtavision that offers unique solutions and analysis tools, including SymTA/S for system-level real-time scheduling analysis.

Dr. Marek Jersak received his Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering from Aachen University of Technology, Germany in 1997 and his doctoral degree with honours from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany in 2004. Between 1997 and 1999 he worked as a Design Engineer for Conexant Systems, Newport Beach, California, on DSP compiler optimization and processor/compiler co-design. Since 2005 he is CEO of Symtavision, a spin-off from the Technical University of Braunschweig focusing on timing analysis and optimization for complex embedded real-time systems.

Rolf Ernst received a Diploma in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in 81 and 87. From 88 to 89, he was a Member of Technical Staff in the Computer Aided Design & Test Laboratory at Bell Laboratories, Allentown, PA. Since 90, he has been a professor of Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, where he heads the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering. His current research interests include embedded architectures, hardware-/software co-design, real-time systems, and embedded systems engineering. Rolf Ernst is an IEEE Fellow and served as an ACM-SIGDA Distinguished Lecturer.

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Hamann, A., Jersak, M., Richter, K. et al. A framework for modular analysis and exploration of heterogeneous embedded systems. Real-Time Syst 33, 101–137 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11241-006-6884-x

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  • Real-time
  • Embedded
  • Distributed systems
  • System-on-chip
  • Performance verification
  • Scheduling analysis
  • Compositional
  • Optimization
  • Design space exploration
  • Traffic shaping
  • Evolutionary algorithms