Giotto: A Time-triggered Language for Embedded Programming

Thomas A. Henzinger, Benjamin Horowitz, and Christoph M. Kirsch

Giotto provides an abstract programmer's model for the implementation of embedded control systems with hard real-time constraints. A typical control application consists of periodic software tasks together with a mode switching logic for enabling and disabling tasks. Giotto specifies time-triggered sensor readings, task invocations, actuator updates, and mode switches independent of any implementation platform. Giotto can be annotated with platform constraints such as task-to-host mappings, and task and communication schedules. The annotations are directives for the Giotto compiler, but they do not alter the functionality and timing of a Giotto program. By separating the platform-independent from the platform-dependent concerns, Giotto enables a great deal of flexibility in choosing control platforms as well as a great deal of automation in the validation and synthesis of control software. The time-triggered nature of Giotto achieves timing predictability, which makes Giotto particularly suitable for safety-critical applications.

Proceedings of the IEEE 91:84-99, 2003. A preliminary version appeared in the Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Embedded Software (EMSOFT), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2211, Springer, 2001, pp. 166-184.

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