PhD Thesis

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« Embedded systems engineering using a hardware/software co-design methodology. Application on avionics ».

Author: M. Romdhani
Advisor: A.-A. Jerraya
These de Doctorat Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - INPG
Defense: December 09 1996
Pages: 199


The real challenge of developing complex systems such as avionics lies in the successful realization of new designs highly reliable, efficient and less expensive. Thus, right choices of engineering methods and specific tools are required in order to master the complexity of these systems and to rationalize their development. This thesis addresses some of the problems faced during the specification, design and rapid prototyping of avionics. We propose a more general methodology for system engineering based on the concepts of hardware/software co-design and we experimentally evaluate it on an avionics system of the AIRBUS A340. The co-design engineering approach is defined in light of a study of existing design methods at the French Aerospace organization, AEROSPATIALE, considering the State of the Art of co-design. Our approach is characterized by a multi-formalisms specification step, a semi-automatic hardware/software partitioning based on performance analysis step, and a final step of prototyping on a technology of programmable FPGAs. Besides the introduction of a new approach for the modeling and the multi-formalisms specification of embedded avionics, techniques for composing partial specifications have been suggested. We have equally studied the impact of the use of the new generation of graphical tools for the executable specification on hardware and software components. One of the major contributions of this thesis is to assist in the definition and architecture prototyping of embedded avionics by exploring the hardware/software partitioning alternatives. A partitioning method based on the performance analysis using SES/workbench has been presented. The originality of the rapid prototyping methodology resides in the flexibility and in accessing the prototype. A platform based on a PC-Pentium and programmable FPGA circuits has been defined and experimented for the prototype realization of the ARINC 429 avionics function.