Postdoc position: High Level Models for Low Power Systems

Design, implementation, industrial case-studies

Postdoctoral Research position at Verimag: Introducing Power-Consumption in Transaction-Level-Modeling for Systems-on-a-Chip

Note: an engineer position on the same project is also open. See this page.

 Scientific Context

Transaction-Level Modeling of Systems-on-a-Chip:

The silicon industry is widely adopting a methodology called Transaction-Level Modeling (TLM), that consists essentially in writing abstract, but yet executable models the hardware contained in a Chip.

SystemC is a C++ library used for the description of SoCs at different levels of abstraction, including TLM. It comes with a simulation environment, and became a standard (IEEE 1666). SystemC offers a set of primitives for the description of parallel activities representing the physical parallelism of the hardware blocks. The TLM level of abstraction can be described with SystemC.

Power consumption:

The need for low-power systems is now well admitted, in the domain of embedded systems in general. This is particularly true for sensor networks or consumer electronics (mobile phones and all kinds of portable devices), because of lifetime constraints. But this is also true for other (non autonomous) embedded systems, in a world concerned with sustainable development.

Evaluating power-consumption early in the design flow, and therefore at a high level of abstraction such as TLM, is one of the challenges in the design of modern embedded systems.

 Verimag, STMicroelectronics and Docea Power Common Projects

Verimag and STMicroelectronics have been working together on TLM-related problems since 2002, in various domains such as formal and runtime verification, modeling issues and component-based design.

Docea Power is a start-up company specialized in power consumption and temperature analysis. Verimag started collaborating with Docea in march 2008 (See this page), and the collaboration continues in the HELP project.

 Objectives of the Post-Doc

The post-doc will work in the context of the HELP project. The main questions to address are:

  • Modeling principles and guidelines to write transaction-level models including time and energy information, while keeping the functionality separated from time and energy; a component-based approach is also required, since models of complex systems-on-a-chip are often built by assembling existing models.
  • Simulation methods that take into account the intrinsic coupling between the functionality of the system, and its non functional behavior (energy and temperature). The current approach is to run a functional simulator, and let it dump a trace (typically in a text file). The non-functional analysis is done after-the-fact, based on this execution trace. This approach is limited since it does not allow a bi-directional communication between the functional simulator and the non-functional part (for example, a temperature sensor could hardly be modeled).

 Summary of expected work

We expect a novel approach to answer the two questions above. The approach will first be experimented on a small example. It will then be validated on a real industrial case study, provided by STMicroelectronics.

 Required Skills

The ideal candidate should have a Ph.D degree in computer science, combine solid theoretical background and software development skills, and have some degree of autonomy. Good English speaking and writing skills are required (French is not required). The candidate should be able to work in a collaborative environment, with a strong commitment to reaching research excellence and achieving assigned objectives.

In depth previous experience in the following areas is required:

  • C++ (some knowledge of SystemC and/or TLM would be appreciated)
  • Modeling/virtual prototyping of systems

 Terms of employment

A full-time position as a postdoctoral researcher for a period of 18 months starting as soon as possible.

The salary will be 2500 EUR gross per month depending on qualifications and experience.


Send a detailed CV, a list of publications, a list of referees (persons that can recommend you), and a short letter explaining your motivations for this position, by email to:

Florence.Maraninchi, Matthieu.Moy, Karine.Altisen

Please include [POSTDOC HELP] in the subject of your mail, and only attach PDF files.

Send your application as soon as possible, and no later than March 15th, 2010.

titre documents joints

Details on the postdoc position

23 September 2010
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