Open Access

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

  • Rainer Dömer1Email author,
  • Andreas Gerstlauer1,
  • Junyu Peng1,
  • Dongwan Shin1,
  • Lukai Cai1,
  • Haobo Yu1,
  • Samar Abdi1 and
  • Daniel D Gajski1
EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems20082008:647953

Received: 1 October 2007

Accepted: 10 June 2008

Published: 26 June 2008


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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Authors’ Affiliations

Center for Embedded Computer Systems, University of California


© Rainer Domer et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.