Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Advisor

Harrison W. Greenwood

Third Advisor

Thomas F. Piatkowski

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Hardware/software codesign is an increasingly popular method for improving system performance and adaptability while minimizing cost. The goal of this design approach is to achieve the desired system characteristics (performance, fault tolerance, cost, power consumption, etc.) by carefully distributing the system functions among hardware and software components. Popular tools for describing this dual hardware/software functionality are behavioral languages such as C++ and Ada. These languages typically include facilities for both traditional sequential programming as well as behavioral modeling.

This thesis examines the effectiveness of occam as a behavioral language and its role in hardware/software codesign. The occam language is used to model the FPGA based CHS2x4 Custom Computer along with the its configuration and control software. The system model is verified through extensive fine and coarse grain simulations of the occam code, and the results are compared with experimental results from the CHS2x4. Through the verification and simulation results, it is shown that the occam programming language can successfully model both software and system hardware. Alternatively, through the modeling and simulation of an FPGA based system, it is also shown that FPGA systems themselves are well suited for implementing software with hardware.