The overall objective of WP4 is developing and evaluating hardware techniques that enable multi-core processors to execute applications with mixed criticalities. The main problem is that the majority of modern architectures have chosen great increases in complexity to deliver relatively small performance improvements. The effect of this has been an increase in the complexity of the design, the verification, and the run-time behaviour to a level where a programmer cannot understand what impact code(s) has/have on run-time behaviour. Under this scenario, mixed criticality systems cannot confidently or efficiently be build, especially ones that are scalable and heavily interconnected.
WP4 will focus on developing hardware architectures and concepts of hardware designs that help satisfy the needs of embedded mixed criticality multi-core systems. The emphasis will be on following issues:
WP4 is organised in six tasks:
Task 4.1 will generate a collection of requirements from the other EMC² technological work packages and the EMC² Living Labs demonstration applications to the multi-core hardware. All requirements will be collected from the aspect of mixed-criticality applications.
Task 4.2 explores novel CPU architectures, interconnect strategies and memory structures with the aim of maximizing the performance of multi-core, multi-memory systems while minimizing area/power increases. Moreover, extensions to the CPU functionality will be provided to support mixed criticalities in a multi-core environment with an optional use of hardware accelerators.
Task 4.3 comprises two major working topics: Interconnect of multiple active system components as well as complete system and the design of peripheral components suitable for mixed criticality applications. Both issues are combined in a single task due to their close relationship and interdependence.
The issue of this Task 4.4 is twofold: Challenges regarding analogue components with respect to error and restart situations are investigated. Software-based approaches for redundancy of actions performed by hardware accelerator will be studied.
The state-of-the art in verification of multi- and many-core systems is not sufficiently advanced. The huge complexities that arise from interaction of processors, the interconnects themselves and between memory accesses, all in the context of mixed criticality applications, require the development of new verification methodologies that extend the state of the art beyond the current SoC level. Development includes both formal and simulation-based approaches and combinations of these to arrive at a methodology that is effective and efficient in practice and paves the way to certification.
In Task 4.6 the proposals of the WP4 tasks will be implemented as demonstrators for showing and validating their suitability and efficiency. The demonstrators will be realized as simulations (virtual platforms) or as FPGA prototypes.
Virtual platforms can range from simulations of CPUs, to simulators of multiprocessor SoCs (MPSoCs) through to complete ECUs which can be run as an alternative to hardware in the loop development approaches. These offer simulation speeds orders of magnitude faster than RTL simulations and debugging/monitoring capabilities greater than development boards.
In parallel, an FPGA MPSoC together with a suitable FPGA prototyping platform will be developed. The resulting prototype will be used in selected Living Labs for demonstration purposes.