SPEEDS Embedded Systems Design Initiative

As part of the European Union’s 6th Framework Programme for funding technology and scientific projects designed to turn the EU economy into the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world, a new embedded systems initiative called SPEEDS (Speculative and Exploratory Design in Systems Engineering) has been established. The SPEEDS initiative is a concerted effort to define a standard, end-to-end framework for the implementation of innovative, next generation concepts, methodologies, processes, technologies and tools for the design of embedded systems. Its aim is also to provide an environment that will not only foster greater collaboration between European companies of all sizes involved in the embedded systems arena but also significantly widen access for smaller companies to leading edge tools and techniques. The initiative as a whole will enable the European embedded systems industry to seamlessly evolve from model-based design of hardware/software systems towards an integrated component-based construction of complete, virtual system models.

The SPEEDS initiative is intended to significantly improve Europe’s performance and competitiveness in embedded systems design in key, safety-critical industry sectors such as automotive, avionics, space and industrial control, in what are increasingly becoming fiercely competitive markets. In this respect, SPEEDS is targeting a 60% reduction in development costs and 40% reduction in the development time of safety-critical embedded systems, whilst maintaining and improving the necessarily high quality standards demanded and managing the increasingly design complexity involved. This will be achieved by combining the deep technical understanding and design competence gained from European companies already successfully operating at a practical level in the global embedded systems market, with the theoretical research being undertaken by leading European institutions. It will also eliminate many of the barriers experienced by smaller companies in gaining access to the very latest embedded systems design concepts, methodologies, processes, tools and technologies.

“SPEEDS is an end-to-end vision for embedded systems design that aims to provide a quantum leap in the way embedded software is developed and managed across different groups and companies in the supply chain,” said Gert Döhmen, Coordinator of the SPEEDS Consortium. “SPEEDS will introduce considerable innovation to modelling and analysis as well as tool integration and accessibility that will sustain and improve the competitiveness of European industry in the development of embedded systems.”

Through its novel, semantics-based, speculative design methodology, SPEEDS will focus on the needs of engineers to ensure the creation of cost-efficient, high quality, optimal performance ambient intelligent systems with reduced time-to-market and faster deployment. The SPEEDS design process will facilitate the construction of early systems prototypes during the design stage and thorough quality and stability assessments early in the design process. It will also facilitate the active treatment of design assumptions to guide system development and support for concurrent, multi-organisational development of complex designs. SPEEDS will achieve this by enabling component-based construction of complete virtual system models, allowing early analysis of non-functional design constraints, virtual system integration, co-analysis and the new concept of hosted simulation.

SPEEDS will define meta-models that provide the semantic foundations needed to address the design of distributed heterogeneous embedded systems, concurrency and non-functional constraints. Guidelines will also be provided for the extensibility of the SPEEDS meta-model. The definition of a SPEEDS engineering bus based on the defacto Eclipse standard will also facilitate the integration of existing COTS as well as best-in-class design tools into embedded systems design flows. The SPEEDS design process will focus on design reuse at all design levels, design space exploration and early systems analysis through virtual integration.

To ensure the accessibility and acceptance of SPEEDS as an open, industry-wide standard, full compatibility and interoperability will be provided with existing modelling standards including UML, SysML and Autosar and DO-178C certification requirements. The SPEEDS consortium will take actions to make the SPEEDS meta-model part of the existing and emerging standards of the Object Management Group (OMG).

The SPEEDS consortium comprises the following companies and research institutions: Airbus Deutschland, Airbus France, Daimler Chrysler, Esterel Technologies, Extessy, I-Logix, Institut National de Récherche en Informatique et en Automatique, Israel Aircraft Industries, Knorr Bremse Fekrendszerek, Kuratorium OFFIS, Magna Powertrain, Parades Geie, Robert Bosch, Saab, TNI-Software and Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble.

About the SPEEDS Initiative
The SPEEDS initiative is a concerted effort to define a standard end-to-end framework for the implementation of innovative, next generation concepts, methodologies, processes, technologies and tools for the design of embedded systems. It is intended to significantly improve Europe’s performance and competitiveness in embedded systems design in key, safety-critical industry sectors such as automotive, avionics and industrial control, in what are increasingly becoming fiercely competitive markets. Its aim is also to provide an environment that will not only foster greater collaboration between European companies of all sizes involved in the embedded systems arena but also significantly widen access for smaller companies to leading edge tools and techniques. The initiative as a whole will enable the European embedded systems industry to seamlessly evolve from model-based design of hardware/software systems towards an integrated component-based construction of complete, virtual system models.

About the EU’s 6th Framework Programme (FP6)
The FP is the EU’s main instrument for research funding in Europe. FP6 aims to contribute to the creation of a true “European Research Area” (ERA). ERA is a vision for the future of research in Europe, an internal market for science and technology. It fosters scientific excellence, competitiveness and innovation through the promotion of better co-operation and coordination between relevant actors at all levels. Economic growth increasingly depends on research, and many of the present and foreseeable challenges for industry and society can no longer be solved at national level alone. At their summit in Lisbon in March 2000, heads of state and governments called for better leveraging of European research efforts through the creation of ERA. The FP is the financial instrument that will help make the European Research Area a reality.

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