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A Feature-Based Approach to Embedded System Hardware and Software Co-Design



XuanFang Zha, Steven J. Fenves, Ram D. Sriram


An embedded system is a hybrid of hardware and softwarethat combines software flexibility and hardware real-time performance. The co-design of hardware and software is the most critical but difficult issue in embedded system design. In this paper, we propose a novel feature-based approach to the co-design of hardware and software in embedded systems. The approach first defines an extension to the NIST Core Product Model and then provides an object-oriented UML (Unified Modeling Language) representation for the embedded system feature model, including models of embedded system artifacts, components, features, and HW/SW configuration/assembly. The extended model provides a feature-based HW/SW component co-design framework allowing the designer to develop a virtual embedded system prototype through assembling virtual components. The resulting feature-based model serves as the basis for developing reusable and adaptable components/artifacts. The underlying SW and HW components are determined through feature configuration, and thus HW/SW co-design is implemented by using feature-component mapping and component generation, which may be associated with feature creation, configuration, analysis and reuse. A case study example is discussed to illustrate the embedded system model.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the DETC 2005 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Conference Dates
September 24-28, 2005
Conference Location
Long Beach, CA, USA


component-based approach, Embedded system, feature-based modeling, object-oriented representation, UML


Zha, X. , Fenves, S. and Sriram, R. (2005), A Feature-Based Approach to Embedded System Hardware and Software Co-Design, Proceedings of the DETC 2005 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Long Beach, CA, USA, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created November 30, 2005, Updated October 12, 2021