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Long term trends for embedded system design

Author(s): A. A. Jerraya

Doc. Source: CEPA 2 Workshop - Digital Platforms for Defence

An embedded system is an application specific electronic subsystem used in a larger entity such as an appliance, an instrument or a vehicle. The embedded system may embody the complete system functionality in several different ways---using software running on CPUs or in specialized hardware accelerators. The evolution of technologies is enabling the integration of complex platforms in a single chip; called System-on-Chip, SoC. Modern SoC may include one or several CPU subsystems to execute software and sophisticated interconnect in addition to specific hardware subsystems. Mastering the design of these embedded systems is a challenge for both system and semiconductor houses that used to apply only software strategy or only hardware strategy. In addition to classic software and hardware that can be designed by software and hardware engineers, SoC design requires the design of hardware- dependent software and software-dependent hardware. In order to meet performances requirements, these two parts need to be jointly designed. This requires a new kind of engineers that need knowledge in both hardware and hardware design to codesign these HW-SW interfaces. This paper analyzes this evolution and defines long term roadmaps for embedded system design.