IME SIG: Embedded Systems


Most people don't realise that the most common form of computer in use today is by far the embedded computer. In fact, 98% of computing devices are embedded in all kinds of electronic equipment and machines. Computers are moving away from the desktop and are finding themselves in everyday devices like credit cards, mobile phones, cars and planes or places like homes, offices and factories. Embedded computing systems are made of hardware (nanoelectronic components) and software.

What an embedded system is, according to the Artemis Joint Undertaking

Core topics

  1. Design methods and tools. This covers system-level model-based tools and design processes that contribute, in an integrated fashion, to elevating the abstraction level for architecture exploration and product design. We will also include test, validation and verification tools to support compositional design that can be integrated into the complete process flow to support concurrent verification and validation at the product level as an integral part of the design process.
    1. Theory and novel methods for embedded system design. New methods and tools that can increase system development productivity while achieving dependable, safe, secure and possibly adaptive embedded systems with predictable properties. Key issues include:
      1. heterogeneity, i.e., building embedded systems from components with different characteristics;
      2. predictability of non-functional properties such as performance, fault tolerance, robustness, life expectancy, and power consumption;
      3. comprehensive methods for robustness validation; adaptivity, and self-awareness for coping with uncertainty, upgrades of components and self-configuration concepts;
      4. methods for handling of real-time requirements;
      5. modeling of communication, data storage, and data transfer;
      6. unification of approaches from computer science, electronic engineering and control.
    2. Modules and tools for embedded platform-based design. An integrated design environment for embedded systems that can be extended and customised. This covers software, hardware/software and system design tools for holistic design, from applications down to component and platform level. Important challenges encompass flexibility of the platform to support different applications, easily import existing components and/or handle upgrades. Key issues include:
      1. technology for efficient resource management;
      2. tools supporting design space exploration, in particular trade-offs when co-developing hardware and software;
      3. language constructs, models and hw-support for real-time requirements;
      4. tools for verification of not only functional but also non-functional properties such as performance, real-time requirements, fault tolerance, and power consumption;
      5. advanced model-driven development.
  2. Reference designs and architectures.
    1. Reference designs and architectures that offer common architectural approaches for given ranges of applications. Key issues include:
      1. composability: the ability to derive instantiations of architecture from a generic platform that support the constructive composition of large systems out of components and sub-systems without uncontrolled emergent behaviour or side effects;
      2. architectural dependability, to ensure secure, reliable and timely system services despite accidental failure of system components and/or the activity of malicious intruders;
      3. design for safety by means of architectures instantiated from a generic platform that enable the implementation of safety critical systems and the concurrent construction of dependability models. In addition to the required dependability and functionality of the provided services, emphasis is put on architectural support for certification, and the establishment of a safety case.
    2. Case-studies of design of platforms and/or different application areas such as:
      1. heterogeneous multiprocessor system on chip;
      2. parallel and pipelined processing;
      3. multimedia;
      4. applications with various quality and real-time requirements;
      5. digital signal processing and network applications
  3. Seamless connectivity and middleware. Middleware that allows seamless connectivity and interoperability. It includes topics such as:
    1. cross domain connectivity and communication capabilities, necessary to realise the seamless interoperability between the ‘Ambient Intelligent Environments' envisaged for the European citizen (at home, travelling, at work, in public spaces,…);
    2. synchronization between layers from HW and up to service, as well as between modules at a given layer;
    3. resource management to insure seamless connectivity between ES in a physical and logical environment more and more subject to changes, and to dynamically adapt to such changes. Resource management should ensure high utilization of the system resources such as CPU, memory, network, and energy, and guarantee operation within resource reserves or budgets.


Associate Professor Sverre Hendseth