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System-on-Chip Environment: A SpecC-Based Framework for Heterogeneous MPSoC Design


The constantly growing complexity of embedded systems is a challenge that drives the development of novel design automation techniques. C-based system-level design addresses the complexity challenge by raising the level of abstraction and integrating the design processes for the heterogeneous system components. In this article, we present a comprehensive design framework, the system-on-chip environment (SCE) which is based on the influential SpecC language and methodology. SCE implements a top-down system design flow based on a specify-explore-refine paradigm with support for heterogeneous target platforms consisting of custom hardware components, embedded software processors, dedicated IP blocks, and complex communication bus architectures. Starting from an abstract specification of the desired system, models at various levels of abstraction are automatically generated through successive step-wise refinement, resulting in a pin-and cycle-accurate system implementation. The seamless integration of automatic model generation, estimation, and verification tools enables rapid design space exploration and efficient MPSoC implementation. Using a large set of industrial-strength examples with a wide range of target architectures, our experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework and show significant productivity gains in design time.

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Correspondence to Rainer Dömer.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dömer, R., Gerstlauer, A., Peng, J. et al. System-on-Chip Environment: A SpecC-Based Framework for Heterogeneous MPSoC Design. J Embedded Systems 2008, 647953 (2008).

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