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Top-Down System Design A Tutorial Ovennew Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131470D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 3 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

A. V. Pohm: AUTHOR [+4]


In this introduction to hardware design topics within the ongoing tutorial series, the editors accent the essential link between software and hardware design.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 38% of the total text.

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1981 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Top-Down System Design A Tutorial Ovennew

A. V. Pohm and T. A. Smay

Iowa State University

In this introduction to hardware design topics within the ongoing tutorial series, the editors accent the essential link between software and hardware design.

Computer technology can be applied to a very large array of information processing problems- from the control of internal combustion engines to the solution of partial differential equations describing an atomic blast. Vastly different systems are used to obtain efficient solutions for each of these problems.

Top-down system design is an effective approach for designing and constructing systems to successfully meet the gamut of information processing needs. Figure 1 depicts the steps, listed below, that are involved in such an approach.

(1) Identifying the class of the information processing problem to be solved,

(2) Determining the key system requirements,

(3) Determining constraints and optimization criteria,

(4) Determining the hardware/software split,

(5) Making a block design of the system and test features,

(6) Reaching a make/buy decision on hardware and software,

(7) Performing a detailed design,

(8) Performing system integration, and

(9) Performing test, debug, and evaluation.

Although the nine steps as given are imprecise, they reflect a design philosophy in which a system is designed after the problems to be solved have been identified. This design procedure also progresses from the general to the partic- ular-that is, top-down. Each step obviously could be divided into several substeps.

As illustrative examples, consider three very divergent types of processing-that for a video game, for a space craft, and for solution of neutron diffusion equations. Each type of processing characterizes a class of system needs that differs widely from the others.

(Image Omitted: Figure 1. Top down system design.)

IEEE Computer Society, Jun 01, 1981 Page 1 IEEE Computer Volume 14 Number 6, Pages 67-68

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Top-Down System Design A Tutorial Ovennew

  (Image Omitted: Table 1. Categories of system specifications. 1. PERFORMANCE 2. LIFE- CYCLE COST 3. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS-volume, weight, power, cooling, and strength 4. ENVIRONMENT-shock. vibration, radiation, pressure, moisture, chemical, temperature. electrical noise, bacteria. and fields 5 RELIABILITY AND LIFETIME 6. DEBUG, TEST, AND MAINTENANCE 7 SYSTEM EVOLUTION AND UPGRADE 8 DOCUMENTATION 9 SERVICE


To put this in perspective, consider the system specifi- cations given in Table I . Key system specificatio...