HW/SW Co-Simulation Strategies for the Future

The majority of the systems being designed today are embedded systems that consist of standard and custom hardware as well as standard and custom software. Traditionally, the EDA vendors have focused on tools and methodologies for automation of hardware design. As a result, the effects of the software as a component of the system have been largely ignored by the commercial EDA tools. While it is possible to execute microscopic amounts of software on the simulated hardware, the performance and usability of current generation of tools is grossly inadequate for true hardware/ software cosimulation. Similarly, the software vendors have not looked at much outside of the processor or the interaction between the software and the hardware processes. This paper examines common approaches to the hardware/software cosimulation problem and proposes an idealized strategy that merges the capabilities that have been developed in both of these domains into a single environment.

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