Last week, I was at a multicore event, and some presentations reminded me of my MS thesis work back in 2008-2010. In this post, I’d like to provide material produced during my MS thesis work with my professors Arda Yurdakul and Alper Sen with a short introduction.
The work was about introducing the HW-in-the-Loop (HiL) method to the HW-SW co-design domain. HiL is about integrating virtual (simulated) environments with real environments to enable useful scenarios such as testing virtual models under development on real test beds, testing real devices with virtual test beds etc.
A central concept we developed was hybrid channels, which uses a regular SystemC channel to address the issue of integrating the simulation environment to the real world. This allows very straightforward, low effort and low risk switching to/from a HiL setup. Additionally, since SystemC uses channels also among internal modules, the HiL can be easily introduced in different places of the model.
We addressed additional issues to achieve our goal, you can read more about them in the linked material:
- Binding the simulation clock to the wall clock.
- Improving platform’s real-time determinism to ensure accurate timing of the model.
- Handling concurrent outputs from the non-concurrently executing model
- Introducing external events into the simulation event queue
We published our results in some conferences and a journal:
- Endüstriyel Uygulamalar için SystemC ile Döngü İçinde Donanım (Hardware-in-the-Loop with SystemC for Industrial Applications) at Ulusal Yazılım Mühendisliği Sempozyumu (National Software Engineering Symposium) 2009
- Hardware-in-the-Loop for Hardware/Software Co-design of Real-Time Embedded Systems (Poster) at DATE 2010 Workshop Designing for Embedded Parallel Computing Platforms: Architectures, Design Tools, and Applications
- Hardware-in-the-Loop for Hardware/Software Co-design of Real-Time Embedded Systems at IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology, 2010
- A Heterogeneous Simulation and Modeling Framework for Automation Systems in IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, 2012.
Additionally, we were granted a patent, unfortunately only in the Turkish market, due to an issue about transferring the initial patent filing from my company to my university.
I’d like to thank my professors for their guidance again. Always interested in your feedback on the work.