FPGAs in Critical Hardware/Software Systems

Hilton, Adrian; Townson, Gemma and Hall, Jon G. (2003). FPGAs in Critical Hardware/Software Systems. Technical Report 2003/01; Department of Computing, The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00015ff8


FPGAs are being used in increasingly more complex roles in critical systems, interacting with conventional critical software. Established safety standards require rigorous justification of safety and correctness of the conventional software in such systems. Newer standards now make similar requirements for safety-related electronic hardware, such as FPGAs, in these systems. In this paper we examine the current state-of-the-art in programming FP-GAs, and their use in conventional (low-criticality) hardware/software systems. We discuss the impact that the safety standards requirements have on the co-development of hardware/software combinations. and suggest adaptations of existing best practice in software development that could discharge them. We pay particular attention to the development and analysis of high-level language programs for FPGAs designed to interact with conventional software.

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