4 What is a platform? zA partial design: yfor a particular type of system; yincludes embedded processor(s); ymay include embedded software; ycustomizable to a customer’s requirements: xsoftware; xcomponent changes. IBM CoreConnect
5 The design productivity gap
6 Why platforms? zAny given space has a limited number of good solutions to its basic problems. zA platform captures the good solutions to the important design challenges in that space. zA platform reuses architectures.
7 Alternative to platforms zGeneral-purpose architectures. yMay require much more area to accomplish the same task. yOften much less energy-efficient. zReconfigurable systems. yGood for pieces of the system, but tough to compete with software for miscellaneous tasks. Intel Xilinx
8 Standards and platforms zMany high-volume markets are standards- driven: ywireless; ymultimedia; ynetworking. zStandard defines the basic I/O requirements. bluetooth.com MPEG Tampere meeting
9 Standards and platforms, cont’d. zSystems house chooses implementation of standards functions: yimproved quality, lower power, etc. zProduct may be differentiated by added features: ycell phone user interface. zStandards encourage platform-based design.
10 Platform vs. full-custom zPlatform has many fewer degrees of freedom: yharder to differentiate; ycan analyze design characteristics. zFull-custom: yextremely long design cycles; ymay use less aggressive design styles if you can’t reuse some pieces.
11 Platforms and embedded computing zPlatforms rely on embedded processors: ycan be customized through software; ycan put considerable design effort into the CPU. zMany platforms are complex heterogeneous multiprocessors. Agere StarPro
12 Platforms and IP-based design zPlatforms use IP: yCPUs; ymemories; yI/O devices. zPlatforms are IP at the next level of abstraction.
13 Advantages of platform- based design zFast time-to-market. zReuse system design---hardware, software. zAllows chip to be customized to add value.
14 Costs of platform-based design zMasks. zNRE: design of the platform + customization. zDesign verification.
15 Two phases of platform- based design zDesign the platform. zUse the platform. requirementspast designs platform user needs product
16 Division of labor zPlatform design: ychoose, characterize hardware units; ycreate the system architecture; yoptimize for performance, power. zPlatform-based product design: ymodify hardware architecture; yoptimize programs.
17 Semiconductor vs. systems house zSemiconductor house designs the platform. zSystems house customizes the platform for its system: ycustomization may be done in-house or by contractor.
18 Platform design challenges zDoes it satisfy the application’s basic requirements? zIs it sufficiently customizable? And in the right ways? zIs it cost-effective? zHow long does it take to turn a platform into a product?
19 Platform design methodology zSize the problem. yHow much horsepower? How much power? zDevelop an initial architecture. zEvaluate for performance, power, etc. zEvaluate customizability. zImprove platform after each use.
20 Platform use challenges zHow do I understand the platform’s design? zHow do I modify it to suit my needs? zHow do I optimize for performance, power, etc.?
21 Platform use methodology zStart with reference design, evaluate differences required for your features. zEvaluate hardware changes. zImplement hardware and software changes in parallel. zIntegrate and test.
22 Modeling languages zSystemC (www.systemc.org). zSpecC (www.specc.org). SpecC
24 Design refinement zBad news: yhard to learn the platform in order to change it. zGood news: yan existing design can be measured, analyzed, and refined. Worldwide shipping by UPS... roughly US$ 50 for CD and US$ 100 for paper copy (1500 pages, heavy!) Bluetooth.com
25 Software and hardware reuse zWant to reuse as many hardware components as possible: yknown performance, power. zWant to use software libraries where possible. zRTOS simplifies design of multi-tasking systems.
26 But who does it? zDo we use a disciplined, analytical process to create a platform that can be used for a series of designs? Or zDo we grab the last similar design and start hacking?
27 How do I choose a platform? zIdeal: yevaluate aspects of the platform critical to my product’s requirements. zBase: ymarketing/sales decision. NEW! Merck
28 Summary zTrends encourage platform-based design. zTwo phases: design platform, use it. zIterative design style helps in evaluation, but requires steep learning curve. zPure form of platform-based design may be rare in practice.