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Program Implementation Schemes for Hardware-Software Systems
January 1994 (vol. 27 no. 1)
pp. 48-55

Recent advances in the design and synthesis of integrated circuits have prompted system architects to investigate computer aided design methods for systems that contain both application-specific and predesigned reprogrammable components. For the most part, we can apply high level synthesis techniques to synthesis of systems containing processors by treating the latter as a generalized resource. However, the problem is more complex, since the software on the processor implements system functionality in an instruction-driven manner with a statically allocated memory space, whereas ASICs operate as data driven reactive elements. Due to these differences in computational models and primitive operations in hardware and software, a new formulation of the problem of cosynthesis is needed. The authors present their cosynthesis approach. They specify system behavior using HardwareC, a hardware description language (HDL) that has a C-like syntax and supports timing and resource constraints. It also supports specification of unbounded and unknown delay operations that can arise from data-dependent decisions and external synchronization operations. The particular choice of a HDL to specify system functionality is immaterial for the cosynthesis formulation here, and other HDLs such as Verilog could be used.

Rajesh K. Gupta, Claudionor N. Coelho, Jr., Giovanni De Micheli, "Program Implementation Schemes for Hardware-Software Systems," Computer, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 48-55, Jan. 1994, doi:10.1109/2.248880
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