High integrity hardware-software codesign

Hilton, Adrian J. (2004). High integrity hardware-software codesign. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f5b2


Programmable logic devices (PLDs) are increasing in complexity and speed, and are being used as important components in safety-critical systems. Methods for developing high-integrity software for these systems are well-known, but this is not true for programmable logic.

We propose a process for developing a system incorporating software and PLDs, suitable for safety critical systems of the highest levels of integrity. This process incorporates the use of Synchronous Receptive Process Theory as a semantic basis for specifying and proving properties of programs executing on PLDs, and extends the use of SPARK Ada from a programming language for safety-critical systems software to cover the interface between software and programmable logic.

We have validated this approach through the specification and development of a substantial safety-critical system incorporating both software and programmable logic components, and the development of tools to support this work.

This enables us to claim that the methods demonstrated are not only feasible but also scale up to realistic system sizes, allowing development of such safety-critical software-hardware systems to the levels required by current system safety standards.

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