By Vincent Perrier, CoFluent Design (Nantes, France)
edadesignline.com (January 26, 2010)
Specifying and validating embedded systems and chips becomes increasingly challenging as feature sets and non-functional constraints grow. It's especially difficult when the system involves a multicore programmable platform, which includes several processing engines such as microprocessors, microcontrollers or DSPs, that run application software distributed across the various cores.
The development of the hardware (HW) platform — system-on-chip (SoC) or board — and the application software (SW) is usually done by separate teams, and often by separate companies. In general, the hardware platform development team includes software engineers in charge of developing low-level platform-dependent software — also called firmware (FW) — including boot loaders, C runtime and libraries, operating systems and device drivers. Software engineers also usually develop middleware (MW), including protocol stacks and various libraries, providing specific application programming interfaces (API) to application software developers — the platform users.
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