An embedded system is an information processor that is part of a larger system and is expected to function without human intervention.
© Syda Productions fotolia
Devices such as mobile phones, credit cards and MP3 players, now a vital part of everyday life, are among the many possible hosts of an embedded system. Hierarchical approaches, taken at various stages, for fault simulation, test generation and verification are however needed to cope with the growing complexity and high quality requirements of modern embedded systems.
To meet these requirements, the European Union (EU)-funded project “Centre of Research Excellence in Dependable Embedded Systems”, or CREDES, established a centre of research excellence at the Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) in Estonia. The main objective was to develop highly innovative test methods and circuit architectures that would result in more reliable embedded systems.
By collaborating with strategic partners, the research team developed know-how and exchanged best practices. As a result, the centre has become one of Europe’s leading institutions responsible for R&D in the areas of design, verification, test and diagnosis of embedded systems.
“Over the course of the project, we came up with new scientific methods to make embedded systems more reliable. This was made possible by twinning activities with specialist research groups at various universities across the EU,” says project coordinator, Dr. Gert Jervan at the Tallinn University of Technology.
The CREDES team employed 11 junior and 8 postdoctoral researchers. These scientists were active in proposing new joint projects and have successfully secured funding for future activities. In addition, the existing R&D facilities were enhanced during the project. This transformation has in turn maximised the transfer and promotion of the project's results and activities.
Several design, test and verification flows were developed by the CREDES project team. A method for application mapping - a system that monitors and displays the relationships between complex applications and their supporting components - was also developed and its feasibility approved.
The CREDES project has seen the University of Tallinn participating in several collaborative EU research projects on embedded systems. Moreover, the visibility of the centre itself improved due to its staff regularly attending international workshops and conferences on research policy as well as training events.