System-Level Design Exploration

Professor Jan M. Rabaey
Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
UC Berkeley

September 26, 1996
Hogan Room, 531 Cory Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.


The rapid increase in the complexity of systems that are envisioned in the not too distant future is rapidly outpacing the available design methodologies. To bridge the developing design gap requires the emergence of a system design infrastructure and a raise in design abstraction. In this presentation, we will discuss the nature and the requirements of design at the so called "conceptual level", i.e. the pre-specification level. It is at the conceptual stage of the design process that major decisions and trade-offs are made and where alternative implementations are explored. Unfortunately, this is most often done in an ad-hoc way. It will be shown that the most important element of a design exploration environment is the gathering and management of information. An environment that can help to provide the most accurate and relevant information about proposed design implementations will be presented and analysed, including estimators, knowledge agents, search and user interfaces. The concept will be illustrated with a number of examples.