The Sunflower Tool Suite --- Hardware and Software Research Platforms for Energy-Constrained and Failure-Prone Systems

Author Phillip Stanley-Marbell

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Phillip Stanley-Marbell

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Phillip Stanley-Marbell. The Sunflower Tool Suite --- Hardware and Software Research Platforms for Energy-Constrained and Failure-Prone Systems. In Power-aware Computing Systems. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 7041, pp. 1-3, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


Research in any field requires tools that enable modeling system characteristics of interest. Such tools, whether analytic, simulative, or hardware-based, must enable the accurate evaluation of relevant aspects of a system that may influence its perceived utility. In computing systems research, software tools (notably, simulators) provide low-cost, flexible, and low turn-around time facilities for investigations, but abstract away many hardware details, often resulting in a loss in accuracy of modeling. Hardware implementations provide the ultimate proofs of concept, but require hardware design expertise, are usually expensive and inflexible, and are not always designed to expose all possible system parameters to researchers. They are also rarely the subject of active evolution over time as research platforms in their own right, as software tools are. The Sunflower tool suite is a suite of hardware platforms and simulation tools, intended to address these concerns. It comprises a full-system (embedded microarchitecture, networking, power, battery, device failure and analog signal modeling) simulator, a miniature energy-scavenging hardware platform, and a handheld computing device (under development). The suite is intended to provide a set of complementary platforms for research in micro- and system-architectures for embedded systems, with emphases on energy-efficiency, fault-tolerance, and ecological impact of deployed hardware.
  • Research Platforms
  • Hardware Prototypes
  • Microarchitectural Simulation
  • Energy Harvesting/Scavenging
  • Sensor Networks.


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