Model-Based Application Development for Massively Parallel Embedded Systems

Jan W.M. Jacobs

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

512 Downloads (Pure)


The development of embedded systems in information-rich contexts is governed by some intertwined trends. The increase of both volume of data to be processed and the related processing functionality feeds the growing complexity of applications. Independently, the processing hardware that is needed to process these applications is becoming increasingly parallel and heterogeneous (many-core) because of performance and power problems. Furthermore, today's compiler technology is not able to translate sequential legacy code for multi-core or many-core systems in an efficient way. This thesis addresses the problem of generating efficient code for a number of cores, that operate synchronously. Examples are SIMD and VLIW architectures. In this thesis we restrict ourselves to architectures that include a control processor that provides the instruction stream. In practice the manufacturers of such many-core processors only provide a C-compiler that supports hardware intrinsic instructions. This situation usually requires manual adaptation of sequential code. Unfortunately, a first feedback of the implementation on the targeted parallel architecture only comes late in the development trajectory. Moreover, during implementation phases more engineers enter the project and this increases the risk of early errors proliferating to later phases. Although some parts of the system can be modelled in high level language(s) (e.g., MATLAB), the typical approach lacks a single integral and executable framework allowing for an immediate system-wide verification. This thesis proposes an integral design methodology, named IRIS, for the development of firmware for many-core architectures. The methodology is illustrated by three cases: a colour image processing pipeline for a printer, stochastic image quantisation, and data mining of dynamic document spaces. For the three cases the various development phases and the associated development roles result in mathematical models, that can be directly transcribed in a functional language. The executable models are subsequently transformed into a series of implementation models, that converge to the targeted many-core implementation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Smit, Gerard J.M., Supervisor
  • Kuper, Jan, Co-Supervisor
Award date20 Nov 2008
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-2752-1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2008


  • Embedded systems
  • Firmware
  • Many core systems
  • Design methodology
  • Functional derivation


Dive into the research topics of 'Model-Based Application Development for Massively Parallel Embedded Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this