In current practices of system-on-chip (SoC) design a trend can be observed to integrate more and more low-level software components into the system hardware at different levels of granularity. The implementation of important control functions and communication structures is frequently shifted from the SoC’s hardware into its firmware. As a result, the tight coupling of hardware and software at a low level of granularity raises substantial verification challenges since the conventional practice of verifying hardware and software independently is no longer sufficient. This calls for new methods for verification based on a joint analysis of hardware and software.
This thesis proposes hardware-dependent models of low-level software for performing formal verification. The proposed models are conceived to represent the software integrated with its hardware environment according to the current SoC design practices. Two hardware/software integration scenarios are addressed in this thesis, namely, speed-independent communication of the processor with its hardware periphery and cycle-accurate integration of firmware into an SoC module. For speed-independent hardware/software integration an approach for equivalence checking of hardware-dependent software is proposed and an evaluated. For the case of cycle-accurate hardware/software integration, a model for hardware/software co-verification has been developed and experimentally evaluated by applying it to property checking.
Advanced sensing systems, sophisticated algorithms, and increasing computational resources continuously enhance the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). To date, despite that some vehicle based approaches to driver fatigue/drowsiness detection have been realized and deployed, objectively and reliably detecting the fatigue/drowsiness state of driver without compromising driving experience still remains challenging. In general, the choice of input sensorial information is limited in the state-of-the-art work. On the other hand, smart and safe driving, as representative future trends in the automotive industry worldwide, increasingly demands the new dimensional human-vehicle interactions, as well as the associated behavioral and bioinformatical data perception of driver. Thus, the goal of this research work is to investigate the employment of general and custom 3D-CMOS sensing concepts for the driver status monitoring, and to explore the improvement by merging/fusing this information with other salient customized information sources for gaining robustness/reliability. This thesis presents an effective multi-sensor approach with novel features to driver status monitoring and intention prediction aimed at drowsiness detection based on a multi-sensor intelligent assistance system -- DeCaDrive, which is implemented on an integrated soft-computing system with multi-sensing interfaces in a simulated driving environment. Utilizing active illumination, the IR depth camera of the realized system can provide rich facial and body features in 3D in a non-intrusive manner. In addition, steering angle sensor, pulse rate sensor, and embedded impedance spectroscopy sensor are incorporated to aid in the detection/prediction of driver's state and intention. A holistic design methodology for ADAS encompassing both driver- and vehicle-based approaches to driver assistance is discussed in the thesis as well. Multi-sensor data fusion and hierarchical SVM techniques are used in DeCaDrive to facilitate the classification of driver drowsiness levels based on which a warning can be issued in order to prevent possible traffic accidents. The realized DeCaDrive system achieves up to 99.66% classification accuracy on the defined drowsiness levels, and exhibits promising features such as head/eye tracking, blink detection, gaze estimation that can be utilized in human-vehicle interactions. However, the driver's state of "microsleep" can hardly be reflected in the sensor features of the implemented system. General improvements on the sensitivity of sensory components and on the system computation power are required to address this issue. Possible new features and development considerations for DeCaDrive are discussed as well in the thesis aiming to gain market acceptance in the future.
Software defined radios can be implemented on general purpose processors (CPUs), e.g. based on a PC. A processor offers high flexibility: It can not only be used to process the data samples, but also to control receiver functions, display a waterfall or run demodulation software. However, processors can only handle signals of limited bandwidth due to their comparatively low processing speed. For signals of high bandwidth the SDR algorithms have to be implemented as custom designed digital circuits on an FPGA chip. An FPGA provides a very high processing speed, but also lacks flexibility and user interfaces. Recently the FPGA manufacturer Xilinx has
introduced a hybrid system on chip called Zynq, that combines both approaches. It features a dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor and an FPGA, that offer the flexibility of a processor with the processing speed of an FPGA on a single chip. The Zynq is therefore very interesting for use in SDRs. In this paper the
application of the Zynq and its evaluation board (Zedboard) will be discussed. As an example, a direct sampling receiver has been implemented on the Zedboard using a high-speed 16 bit ADC with 250 Msps.
Safety-related Systems (SRS) protect from the unacceptable risk resulting from failures of technical systems. The average probability of dangerous failure on demand (PFD) of these SRS in low demand mode is limited by standards. Probabilistic models are applied to determine the average PFD and verify the specified limits. In this thesis an effective framework for probabilistic modeling of complex SRS is provided. This framework enables to compute the average, instantaneous, and maximum PFD. In SRS, preventive maintenance (PM) is essential to achieve an average PFD in compliance with specified limits. PM intends to reveal dangerous undetected failures and provides repair if necessary. The introduced framework pays special attention to the precise and detailed modeling of PM. Multiple so far neglected degrees of freedom of the PM are considered, such as two types of elementwise PM at arbitrarily variable times. As shown by analyses, these degrees of freedom have a significant impact on the average, instantaneous, and maximum PFD. The PM is optimized to improve the average or maximum PFD or both. A well-known heuristic nonlinear optimization method (Nelder-Mead method) is applied to minimize the average or maximum PFD or a weighted trade-off. A significant improvement of the objectives and an improved protection are achieved. These improvements are achieved via the available degrees of freedom of the PM and without additional effort. Moreover, a set of rules is presented to decide for a given SRS if significant improvements will be achieved by optimization of the PM. These rules are based on the well-known characteristics of the SRS, e.g. redundancy or no redundancy, complete or incomplete coverage of PM. The presented rules aim to support the decision whether the optimization is advantageous for a given SRS and if it should be applied or not.
Memory accesses are the bottleneck of modern computer systems both in terms of performance and energy. This barrier, known as "the Memory Wall", can be break by utilizing memristors. Memristors are novel passive electrical components with varying resistance based on the charge passing through the device . In this abstract, the term "memristor" covers also an extension of the definition, memristive devices, which vary their resistance depending on a state variable . While memristors are naturally used as memory cells, they can also be used for other applications, such as logic circuits .
We present a novel architecture that redefines the relationship between the memory and the processor by enabling data processing within the memory itself. Our architecture is based on a memristive memory array, in which we perform two basic logic operations: Imply (material implication)  and False.
This study presents an energy-efficient ultra-low voltage standard-cell based memory in 28nm FD-SOI. The storage element (standard-cell latch) is replaced with a full- custom designed latch with 50 % less area. Error-free operation is demonstrated down to 450mV @ 9MHz. By utilizing body bias (BB) @ VDD = 0.5 V performance spans from 20 MHz @ BB=0V to 110MHz @ BB=1V.
Lowering the supply voltage of Static Random-Access Memories (SRAM) is key to reduce power consumption, however since this badly affects the circuit performances, it might lead to various forms of loss of functionality. In this work, we present silicon results showing significant yield improvement, achieved with write and read assist techniques on a 6T high- density bitcell manufactured in 40 nm technology. Data is successfully modeled with an original spice-based method that allows reproducing at high computing efficiency the effects of static negative bitline write assist, the effects of static wordline underdrive read assist, while the effects of read ability losses due to low-voltage operations on the yield are not taken into account in the model.
The energy efficiency of today’s microcontrollers is supported by the extensive usage of low-power mechanisms. A full power-down requires in many cases a complex, and maybe error prone, administration scheme, because data from the volatile memory have to be stored in a flash based back- up memory. New types of non-volatile memory, e.g. in RRAM technology, are faster and consumes a fraction of the energy compared to flash technology. This paper evaluates power gating for WSN with RRAM as back-up memory.
Three-dimensional (3D) integration using through- silicon via (TSV) has been used for memory designs. Content addressable memory (CAM) is an important component in digital systems. In this paper, we propose an evaluation tool for 3D CAMs, which can aid the designer to explore the delay and power of various partitioning strategies. Delay, power, and energy models of 3D CAM with respect to different architectures are built as well.
This paper briefly discusses a new architecture, Computation-In-Memory (CIM Architecture), which performs “processing-in-memory”. It is based on the integration of storage and computation in the same physical location (crossbar topology) and the use of non-volatile resistive-switching technology (memristive devices or memristors in short) instead of CMOS technology. The architecture has the potential of improving the energy-delay product, computing efficiency and performance area by at least two orders of magnitude.