Stud.IP Uni Oldenburg
University of Oldenburg
14.07.2020 19:50:47
inf334 - System Level Design (Complete module description)
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Module label System Level Design
Module code inf334
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h
Faculty/Institute Department of Computing Science
Used in course of study
  • Master's Programme Computing Science (Master) >
  • Master's Programme Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (Master) >
  • Master's Programme Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (Master) >
Contact person
Module responsibility
Authorized examiners
Entry requirements
Skills to be acquired in this module
Professional competences:
The students:
  • Ability to describe and analyze system components and architectures using system level description languages SpecC and SystemC
  • Capabilities for partitioning and parallelizing of applications

Methodological competences:
The students:
  • Knowledge of refinement and transformation techniques for transferring an initial specification into a real implementation
  • Knowledge of the phases of a system-level design flow
  • Knowledge of current design methods and tools in system level design
  • Knowledge about formal models of computation of specification languages
  • Knowledge of current research results and trends in system level design
  • Capabilities for partitioning and parallelizing of applications
  • Ability to evaluate and explore design decisions
  • Ability to implement a complete system design-to-implementation specification

Social competences:
The students:
  • Implement solutions of given problems in teams
  • Discuss their outcomes appropriately

The students:
  • presentation skills
  • reflect their solutions by using methods learned in this course
Module contents
The ever-increasing integration densities of integrated circuits enable the implementation of increasingly powerful and complex systems. This can be on the one hand the integration of several sub-components on the same chip (system-on-chip) or on the other hand the implementation of more powerful algorithms. However, traditional design techniques are hardly able to cope with the increasing complexity of today's embedded systems. Therefore, in research and practice efforts through new methods and tools, there is a significant increase in productivity in the design process, thus closing the so-called "design productivity gap". This is achieved, for example, by a stronger abstraction, in which the behavior of components is described only at the algorithmic level and is automatically translated into hardware or software implementations by high-level synthesis techniques. The final system implementation is achieved by means of a structured refinement and exploration processes. Throughout this refinement flow, system properties (for example, timing, energy consumption, chip area and costs) are estimated on each abstraction level and guide the designer in the iterative decision process. By means of techniques such as virtual prototyping, entire systems can be simulated and verified on each refinement layer, even without the availability of a full implementation for all system components.

This module builds on the modules Embedded Systems I and II, deepens the knowledge acquired there for the design of hardware/software systems and expands them with current methods and tools. With SystemC, a language is presented that is already widely used in industry and research for the design and verification of hardware/software systems and supports several abstraction levels from clock cycle accurate hardware description, over transaction level models to process based functional specifications.
Reader's advisory
Suggested reading:

Main textbooks:
  • D. Gajski, S. Abdi, A. Gerstlauer, G. Schirner, Embedded System Design: Modeling, Synthesis, Verification, Springer, 2009 (“orange book”)
  • D. C. Black, J. Donovan, B. Bunton, A. Keist, SystemC: From The Ground Up, Second Edition,
Springer 2010 (“red book”)

Optional books:
  • F. Vahid, T. Givargis, Embedded System Design: A Unified Hardware/Software Introduction, Wiley, John & Sons, 2001 (“blue book”). Background about embedded systems in general
  • A. Gerstlauer, R. Doemer, J. Peng, D. Gajski, System Design: A Practical Guide with SpecC, Kluwer, 2001 (“yellow book”). Practical, example-driven introduction using SpecC
Additional reading material posted on Stud.IP
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency once a year
Module capacity unlimited
Modullevel AS (Akzentsetzung / Accentuation)
Modulart Pflicht o. Wahlpflicht / compulsory or optioal
Lern-/Lehrform / Type of program V+Ü
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Course type Comment SWS Frequency Workload attendance
Lecture 2.00 SuSe 28 h
Exercises 2.00 SuSe 28 h
Total time of attendance for the module 56 h
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module
at the end of the lecture period
hands-on exercises and oral exam