Heterogeneous Embedded Systems Lab

Research Projects

Our laboratory is aimed to innovate in the field of design methodologies, programming models and security for advanced heterogeneous systems on chip.

Mastering heterogeneity in embedded systems by design technology is one of the most important challenges facing the semiconductor industry today and will be for several years to come. From the miniaturization of existing systems (position sensors, labs on chip ...) to the creation of specific integrated functions (memory, RF tuning, energy ...), nanoscale and non-electronic devices are being integrated to create nanoelectronic and heterogeneous systems in package (SiP), systems on chip (SoC) and 3D ICs. This approach will have a significant impact on several economic sectors and is driven by:

·      the need for the miniaturization of existing systems to benefit from technological advances and improve performance at lower overall cost,

·      the potential replacement of specific functions in SoC/SiP with nanoscale or non-electronic devices (nanoswitches, optical interconnect, magnetic memory, ...),

·      the advent of high-performance user interfaces (virtual surgical operations, games consoles, ...),

·      the rise of low-power mobile systems (communications and mobile computing) and wireless sensor networks for the measurement of phenomena inaccessible to single-sensor systems.

While the general benefits of heterogeneous integration appear to be clear, this evolution represents a strong paradigm shift for the semiconductor industry. Moving towards diversification and away from the scaling trend that has lasted over 40 years is possible because the integration technology (or at least the individual technological steps) exists to do so. However, the capacity to translate system drivers into technology requirements (and consequently guidance for investment) to exploit such diversification is severely lacking. Such a role can only be fulfilled by a radical shift in design technology to address the new and vast problem of heterogeneous system design while remaining compatible with standard “More Moore” flows, i.e. capable of simultaneously handling both silicon complexity and system complexity. However, the micro-electronics industry, over the years and with its spectacular and unique evolution, has built its own specific design methods while focusing mainly on the management of complexity through the establishment of abstraction levels. Today, the emergence of device heterogeneity requires new approaches enabling the satisfactory design of physically heterogeneous embedded systems for the widespread deployment of such systems.