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SE411: 2005/Mar/10. Systems Engineering. Andrew Schaumberg. What?. The function of systems engineering is to guide the engineering of complex systems. -Kossiakoff and Sweet, Systems Engineering. Why?. Software is just one aspect of device implementation.

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SE411: 2005/Mar/10

Systems Engineering

Andrew Schaumberg

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The function of systems engineering is to guide the

engineering of complex


-Kossiakoff and Sweet,

Systems Engineering


  • Software is just one aspect of device implementation.

  • SE concepts applicable to physical implementation.

  • Holistic benefits. Coupling. Optimization.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Case Study: Guitar

  • Why?

  • Familiar system.

  • Reengineered already.

  • Simple architecture.

Architecture revision history 

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Requirements:

  • Powerless

  • Easy to build

  • Durable

  • Pleasant

  • Easy to play

  • Cons:

  • Terrible to tune

  • Poor sustain

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Lute successors

  • Mandolin

  • Tuned better

  • High pitch, bad sustain

  • Acoustic guitar

  • Tunes like mandolin

  • Low pitch, sustain a bit better

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Solution: Transduce sound

  • Electric signal easy to shape

  • Options:

  • Microphone

  • Pickup

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Pro: Cheap add-on

Con: Generally poor frequency response


Pro: Simplifies architecture

Con: Requires architecture reengineering

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Consider Requirements

  • Need a quick fix for some old acoustics?

  • Get a mic

  • Need something new that is cheap and lasts?

  • Get an electric

Rough SE analogy:

Functional vs. Architectural reengineering

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Typical build quality of electric guitar

  • Sucks!

  • Component quality

  • Ground loops

  • Shielding

  • Electric shock

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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So yeah, it sucks. So we make our own.

And all is good.

Until we realize it still sucks…

...but for different reasons.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Solution:

  • Hardwire new combinations

  • Add a bigger switch

What just happened?

Functional vs. Architectural reengineering

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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What to do?

Start working.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Pros:

  • Simple, at first

  • No added power consumption

  • Cons:

  • Heavy real-estate costs

  • Doesn’t scale

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Pros:

  • Simplifies architecture

  • Cheap

  • Cons:

  • Power required

  • Scales terribly

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Pros:

  • Black-boxing saves devel and maint time

  • Still cheap

  • Cons:

  • Limited by vendor supplies

  • Scales poorly

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Pros:

  • Eliminates need for most ICs

  • Programmable

  • Cons:

  • High power consumption

  • Hurts wallet

  • Requires programmer

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Choose your MCU architecture wisely

  • ARM: Most popular. Pure, small RISC.

  • Atmel AVR: C efficient. Dedicated hobbyist following.

  • Basic Stamp: Fast learning curve.

  • Dedicated hobbyist following.

  • Intel 8051: Very popular. Boolean processing engine.

  • Microchip PIC: Wide supplementary software support.

  • Dedicated hobbyist following.

  • Motorola 68xx: Highly optimized. HCF instruction.

  • TI: Cool calculator programs in BASIC.

  • Dedicated hobbyist following.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Pros:

  • Entire system on a single chip

  • Compile hardware from software

  • Cons:

  • Very high power consumption, especially FPGA

  • Very hurtful on wallet, especially ASIC

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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What just happened?

Layered architecture

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Software options

  • Low level, e.g. assembler

  • Mid level, e.g. C

  • High level, e.g. OS

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Standard

  • Do everything a typical electric guitar can

  • Built better

  • Configurable

  • Selections, wiring, phasing

  • Save/Recall configurations

  • Intonation

  • Built-in tuner

  • Harmonized infinite sustain

  • Communications

  • MIDI

  • OSC

  • File transfer

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Harmonized infinite sustain

  • Strum once, sing forever

  • EBow

  • Fernandez

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Serial

  • Note

  • Velocity

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Application level protocol

  • Ethernet

  • Wrap MIDI

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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File transfer

  • Internet Protocol suite: IP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, FTP

  • USB

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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  • Examples:

  • AvrX - Assembly. Speed.

  • Contiki - C. Dynamic.

  • DCOS - C. Minimalist.

  • NutOS - C. Networking.

  • Salvo - C. Small.

  • TinyOS - Pseudo-C. Static modules.

Oh my Gosh! COTS!

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Prototype releases

  • Alpha

  • Beta

  • Gold

Software extends hardware.

Both play well together in a good system.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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Motorola 6800. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

Intel 8051. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

Arm architecture. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

Atmel AVR 8-Bit RISC. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

AvrX. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

BASIC Stamp. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

ConfiGuitar Info Index. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Dunkels, Adam. The Contiki Operating System. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.


Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

The Amazing EBow. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Electric Guitar. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Ethernet. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Fernandes - Sustainer Audio Demos. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Internet Protocol. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Les Paul 2005. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Lute. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

EMUSIC-L - MIDI specification. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

MIPS architecture. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

nesC: A Programming Language for Deeply Networked Systems. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Ethernut Software. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Atchley, John. - The Internet Home for Wayward Pickers. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

OpenSoundControl. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

OpenSound Control. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

PIC microcontroller. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

Stang, Pascal. Procyon AVRlib - C-Language Function Library for Atmel AVR Processors.

Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Point-to-Point Protocol. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Pumpkin: Salvo, the RTOS that runs in tiny places. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Han, Rengaswamy and Shea. Reconfigurable Sensor Networks with SOS. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.



Texas Intruments. Retrieved: 2005/03/09.

TinyOS Community Forum || An open-source OS for the networked sensor regime.. Retrieved: 2005/02/27.

Verilog. Retrieved: 2005/03/07.

SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg

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SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg, Systems Engineering


SE411: 2005/Mar/10, Andrew Schaumberg