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Proposal of a tool for hardware/software architecture co-design developed at system level for embedded robotics

Grant number: 08/03446-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2008
Effective date (End): July 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Computer Science
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Marques
Grantee:Vanderlei Bonato
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This research project proposes a visual programming tool for design, simulation and synthesis of embedded systems based on FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) for mobile robotics. This tool will allow the hardware/software co-design by connections and configurations of components previously developed, verified and stored on libraries, where the components will be implemented using a system level language and the communication will be based on the TLM (Transaction-Level Modeling). The libraries will be composed by four component sets: Application, Support, Interface and Microprocessor. The first set will have robotic algorithms, the second one specific functionalities to support embedded system implementations, the third one communication channels to access external environments, and the fourth one softcore microprocessors. The systems, developed in this visual programming environment, can be simulated directly at ESL (Electronic System-Level) using external environments for stimulus generation and result monitoring. In addition, the system can be synthesized for a hardware description representation at RTL (Register Transfer Language) level, allowing implementation on FPGAs. This tool, which its first library version will be developed for autonomous mobile robot navigation based on the candidate thesis, aims to support the component reuse by defining an implementation standard, to accelerate the embedded system modeling and construction process through system level development, and finally, to facilitate the integration of mobile robotics and embedded system areas.