There are few industries which, like the electronics industry, can continuously improve qualities of products and at the same time lower their prices every year. The growth rate of the electronics industry is about ten times greater than that of the global economy. Computer-aided design methodology for VLSI systems has become indispensable to utilize the complexity of circuits in improving products, while limiting the design cost of systems. Semiconductor physics is not the only technical challenge in moving the technology forward; in order to cope with the more than exponential increase of the design complexity, VLSI design automation is the key to the further advance of the electronics industry.

The contribution of the research in computer-aided design has been demonstrated by the success of several electronic design automation (EDA) companies as well as the in-house CAD groups in major semiconductor companies. Many successful industrial CAD tools were developed according to the trend in raising the levels of abstraction: first in physical level, then in logic level, and later on in register-transfer level. Recently, a few companies have started to promote their products in behavioral level,which has been an active research area for almost ten years. In the meantime, the prospect of system-level design automation has received a great deal of attention in both academia and industry.

Hardware-software co-design of embedded computer systems [103] is a major problem in system-level design. Hardware-software co-design is not a new field [101, 47], but the computer-aided design support of embedded systems is still primitive. Wolf [101] considers that embedded computer system design is in a state very similar to VLSI design in the late 1970s: the next 10 years may be as revolutionary for embedded system design as the last 10 years have been for IC design.


Embed System Processor Core Task Graph ASIC Design Embed System Design 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ti-Yen Yen
    • 1
  • Wayne Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Quickturn Design SystemsMountain ViewUSA
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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