Research program aims to improve dynamic behaviour of embedded systems

Belgium-based research institute IMEC has announced a research program that will focus on moving the management of a system’s resources from the design phase to runtime software solutions. The resulting embedded systems should be more flexible and efficient, and will have a shorter time-to-market. According to the organisation, systems that would profit from such improved dynamism are, for example, multimedia appliances, from servers to mobile devices, standalone or connected in a video processing network. Other examples are cognitive radios, sensor networks, body area networks, or smart energy grid applications.
The goal of the program is to create a run-time resource manager that addresses the dynamically changing conditions and makes a trade-off between processing availability and type, communication bandwidth, power consumption, or any other relevant constraint. In addition, the program will contribute to the software infrastructure that exchanges information with the run-time manager.

IMEC explains that contemporary embedded systems operate under increasingly dynamic conditions. They have to support unpredictable interaction with users or with the environment and work with widely varying input data, downloadable software, online services and a wider range of software applications than is traditionally supported by embedded systems.

Traditional system designs take into account all this unpredictability upfront, resulting in overallocated resources, higher costs and longer time-to-market. In addition, embedded systems that are connected in a network also have to deal with the dynamism and unpredictability of distributed systems, further increasing the design challenges. Designers are looking for an alternative approach.

IMEC’s research program will examine methods to exploit the flexibility offered by modern hardware platforms and networks. The organisation says these have the hardware needed to implement a more dynamic behaviour: multiple heterogeneous processing cores, including general-purpose processors. This allows the system to have more flexibility to select processing resources for executing software, not only at design time, but also at run time.

Source:Electronics NEWS

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