Electronic Systems Design Seminar


Co-Design and Co-Verification using
a Synchronous Language

Satnam Singh
Xilinx Research Labs

Monday, Oct. 13th, 2003, 4pm - 5pm
540A/B Cory Hall (D.O.P. Center Classroom)


Is it possible to implement control-based algorithms in hardware for fast execution using a design method that has the flexibility and rapid development properties of software? At Xilinx Research Labs we are trying investigating the synchronous reactive programming language Esterel and its suitability as a hardware description language. We will present initial results showing how certain types of control-based computations can be implemented efficiently either in hardware (using FPGA fabric) or software (using embedded PowerPC405 processors or soft processors) from the same specification cast in Esterel. The examples we looked at include standard serial peripherals, simple video games, hardware based mutual exclusion, link-layer protocols and components of ten gigabit ethernet MACs. The presentation will focus on the results of using this approach for co-design and will also present some advantages of this approach which permit formal analyses for performing safety property checks on protocols using model checking.


Satnam Singh obtained his PhD in 1991 at the University of Glasgow in formal techniques for analyzing hardware description languages. After serving as a faculty member in the EE and CS departments at the same university he joined Xilinx's research laboratories in 1998. He has worked on the Lava hardware description language http://www.xilinx.com/labs/lava; high level support for dynamic reconfiguration; advanced techniques for hardware verification; and novel techniques system level design and modeling.

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