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Hardware Platforms for Embedded Systems
Hardwareplattformen für eingebettete Systeme (in German)

Today, microelectronic systems with billions of transistors can be integrated on one device, enabling the realization of complete electronic systems in a single chip, called system on chip (SoC). These devices are becoming more and more part of our daily life. Typically, they are not visible as an independent computer but are enclosed in a larger system including mechanical parts, sensors, and actuators. In this lecture we take a closer look at the special requirements for the design and operation of these embedded systems.

The information processing in embedded systems is performed by a combination of embedded processors, application-specific hardware, and I/O units, all working in parallel. Embedded system designers are especially challenged by the heterogeneity of the system architectures together with the complexity of the applications and various technical as well as economic constraints. In this lecture we concentrate on three main areas:   

  • Processor architectures for embedded systems focusing on superscalar processors, VLIW processors and application-specific instruction set processors
  • Domain-specific architectures, especially GPUs and their programming
  • Communication between processors and systems

In the exercises accompanying the lectures we concentrate on the programming of parallel processor architectures with a focus on GPUs and embedded GPUs.