Faculty Candidate Seminar

Challenges in Designing Embedded Communication Systems

Professor William Mangione-Smith

Professor Mangione-Smith is an Associate Professor the University of California, Los Angeles
Embedded systems are different from desktop computers. The design times are tight, the costs must be kept low, the processing needs are high and the power budgets are small. Embedded communications devices illustrate all of these characteristics. The requirements for next-generation network switches or cell phone terminals far exceed the available technology. The CARES group at UCLA has been investigating these trade-offs for several years. This talk will present a snapshot of our active research areas. Two barriers stand in the immediate path of any designer: the question of workload and evaluation tools. The typical embedded systems designer must face the challenge of first identifying their key application codes – which are more diverse and idiosyncratic than general-purpose workloads. They require a set of tools that accurately contrast design alternatives. The range of architectures for these tasks is much broader than for general-purpose computing, and existing tools are generally inadequate. Once these two barriers are crossed the designer is able to begin their real work: the design of a complete communications system including software and hardware. The CARES group has addressed these issues by developing a range of technologies: the NetBench tool for benchmarking, the Mesquite simulation framework, and the Sonora execution environment.

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