In “SDL/Virtual Prototype Co-design for Rapid Architectural Exploration of a Mobile Phone Platform” Shadi Traboulsi, Felix Bruns, Anas Showk, David Szczesny, Sebastian Hessel, Elizabeth Gonzalez, and Attila Bilgic from the Institute for Integrated Systems, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany describe a new virtual-prototyping technique for hardware/software co-design of embedded systems.
It makes use of software components written in SDL (specification and description language) that can be executed on soft-model of a virtual prototype hardware platform. With it they have found that it makes possible fast exploration of different hardware and software design options at a high level of abstraction in order to make early system design decisions.
They have tested out their approach on a use case based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) communication stack used in a mobile terminal. The open-source L4/Fiasco microkernel is deployed as a real-time operating system to run the modem application represented by the LTE SDL-modelled protocol stack.
They report that they were able to rapidly obtain an efficient design that provides 80% packet processing speedup against other unoptimized implementations while meeting the required timing constraints and maintaining a good balance between area and power consumption.