Hardware/Software Co-Design of I/O Interfacing Hardware and Real-Time Device Drivers for Embedded Systems
Stewart, David B.
"Hardware/software co-design of I/O interfacing hardware and real-time device drivers for embedded systems." David B Stewart and Bruce L Jacob. IEEE Real-Time Applications Symposium--Works-in-Progress Section, Vancouver BC, Canada, June 1999. (also appears in the CASES'99 proceedings)
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We have conceptualized a hardware-software codesign strategy for creating I/O interfacing hardware and real-time operating system device drivers for microcontrollers, enabling hardware independent access to I/O devices at near-zero overhead. We achieve this low overhead through the addition of a hardware mechanism to the microcontroller architecture that we call nanoprocessors. The architecture extensions are orthogonal to the underlying microarchitecture and can be implemented inexpensively, and are thus suitable for use in low-cost microcontrollers. Our current research is to validate this concept through extensive testing on a simulated processor, and to measure the cost-effectiveness of the hardware architecture extensions over a wide range of design choices.