COHRA: Hardware-software cosynthesis of hierarchical heterogeneous distributed embedded systems

Bharat P. Dave, Niraj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Hardware-software cosynthesis of an embedded system architecture entails partitioning of its specification into hardware and software modules such that its real-time and other constraints are met. Embedded systems are generally specified in terms of a set of acyclic task graphs. For medium- to largescale embedded systems, the task graphs are usually hierarchical in nature. The embedded system architecture, which is the output of the cosynthesis system, may itself be nonhierarchical or hierarchical. Traditional nonhierarchical architectures create communication and processing bottlenecks and are impractical for large embedded systems. Such systems require a large number of processing elements and communication links connected in a hierarchical manner, thus forming a hierarchical distributed architecture, to meet performance and cost objectives. In this paper, we address the problem of hardware-software cosynthesis of hierarchical heterogeneous distributed embedded system architectures from hierarchical or nonhierarchical task graphs. Our cosynthesis algorithm has the following features: 1) it supports periodic task graphs with real-time constraints, 2) it supports pipelining of task graphs, 3) it supports a heterogeneous set of processing elements and communication links, 4) it allows both sequential and concurrent modes of communication and computation, 5) it employs a combination of preemptive and non-preemptive static scheduling, 6) it employs a new task-clustering technique suitable for hierarchical task graphs, and 7) it uses the concept of association arrays to tackle the problem of multirate tasks encountered in multimedia systems. We show how our cosynthesis algorithm can be easily extended to consider fault tolerance or low-power objectives or both. Although hierarchical architectures have been proposed before, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the notion of hierarchical task graphs and hierarchical architectures has been supported in a cosynthesis algorithm. Application of the proposed algorithm to several examples from real-life telecom transport systems shows that up to 47% reduction in embedded system cost is possible by exploiting the concept of hierarchical task graphs and architectures. Index Terms -.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-919
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Allocation
  • Distributed systems
  • Embedded systems
  • Hardware-software cosynthesis
  • Hierarchy
  • Scheduling
  • System synthesis


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