PhD Thesis

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« Virtual prototyping for the generation of mixed hardware/software architecture ».

Author: C. Valderrama
Advisor: A.-A. Jerraya
These de Doctorat Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - INPG
Speciality: Micro et Nano Electronique
Defense: October 29 1998
ISBN: ISBN 2-913329-08-X
Pages: 142


The objective of this work is to develop a methodology for the generation of flexible and modular architectures for distributed systems. This approach (also called " virtual prototyping ") is an essential stage in the process of joint design (codesign) of mixed software/hardware systems. Virtual prototyping takes as input a heterogeneous architecture made up of a whole of distributed modules resulting from software/hardware partitioning. It generates executable descriptions for software and hardware elements. Research approaches in this field are justified by the evolution of technology, the urgent need for prototypes to validate the specification, and by the availability of tools and synthesis environments for the design of software and hardware parts. One of the major difficulties of virtual prototyping is that it allows at the same time to handle both, software and hardware. This work describes a strategy of virtual prototyping for the cosynthesis (generation of the modules material and software on an architectural platform) and cosimulation (i.e. the joint simulation of these two kind of components) in a unified environment, the development of a distributed and flexible cosimulation environment allowing the use of several simulation tools and languages, the generation of hardware/software synthesizable models and mono-processor architecture software generation for a set of communicating processes. This approach, presented in the ED&TC conference, got the best paper award in 1995. The tools developed during this thesis were put into practice in the Cosmos codesign environment. One of them was transferred to SGS-Thomson Microelectronics. The tools were also used for the Europeans projects COMITY (particularly used by Aerospace the Missiles in Toulouse and Intracom in Greece) and CODAC, and by other groups like the FZI of the university of Tübingen and PSA in Paris.

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