Automatic Firmware Design for Application-Specific Electronic Systems: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions
In today’s and tomorrow’s systems balancing conflicting non-functional properties, such as power and performance, is of fundamental importance. This task has been posing a significant pressure on the design of the systems. Conflicting design goals have to be met while at the same time great flexibility resulting from the application scenario is required. Therefore, design solutions based on firmware that allow for the application-specific adaptability of the system are on the rise. This tutorial discusses the opportunities and the challenges of firmware-based design as well as outlines a technical roadmap. Then, it focuses several recently developed approaches for automatic firmware design under consideration of timing and power budgets.