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   Hybrid Systems

   Deep Submicron

   Logic Synthesis

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Semantic Foundations for Heterogeneous Systems

Roberto Passerone, University of California at Berkeley
Jerry R. Burch, Cadence Berkeley Laboratories
Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, University of California at Berkeley

System level designs often include a wide range of hardware and software components (e.g. control logic, data paths, sensors, actuators, drivers, data-flow engines). Such different components can be most naturally formalized using different models of computation (MoCs). Heterogeneous systems are those systems that are best described with two or more different MoCs.

Typically, a formal methodology is only applicable to a particular MoC. The objective of this research is to develop semantic foundations that can be applied to the verification, analysis and synthesis of heterogeneous systems involving an unlimited number of MoCs. Traditional methodologies that address this problem often rely on ad hoc methods that a) make it difficult to insure that errors are not introduced during the design process, and b) are not easily transferred from one design to another, making it difficult to reuse components. To that end, we are developing a mathematical framework [1] that supports a very large number of MoCs. This framework is too general for there to be a practical super MoC that unifies all the supported MoCs. However, unifying MoCs can be constructed for particular classes of MoCs on an as needed basis. The interaction of different system components in different MoCs can be formalized by mapping the components into a unifying MoC that is detailed enough to model the relevant properties of both original MoCs. These techniques can also be used to unify different MoCs used to model the same component during different stages of the design-by-refinement process. A common mathematical foundation would ease the IP integration task. Because we address the problems of models at different levels of abstraction, this approach enables the integration of IPs from the mask level up to the conceptual level, a much needed technology for early exploration in system level design.

Currently, we are focusing the research on the application of the framework to the problem of embedded system design, with particular attention to modeling software components that interact with a physical environment [2]. As part of the Metropolis project, this research will provide the basic semantic notions in the Metropolis intermediate representation.


J. R. Burch, R. Passerone, A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. Overcoming Heterophobia: Modeling Concurrency in Heterogeneous Systems, in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Application of Concurrency to System Design, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, June 25-29, 2001.

J. R. Burch, R. Passerone, A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. Using Multiple Levels of Abstraction in Embedded Software Design, in Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Embedded Software, Tahoe City, California, October 8-10, 2001.

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