The Embedded Software Center is an innovative industry/academia collaborative center for advanced research to dramatically increase the productivity and quality of complex embedded applications by 10-fold or more over the next five years. It was founded by UTD, Alcatel, and Texas Instruments (TI) on May 9, 2000, and is investigating sophisticated tools and techniques to leverage existing software components without incurring reliability or performance problems. ESC faculty have funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Texas Advanced Technology Program in addition to funding from Alcatel and TI. The center is actively seeking new strategic partners from industry and funding from government agencies. ESC is pioneering the APEX (Advanced Programming Environment for Embedded Computer Systems) infrastructure to achieve its ambitious technical vision. This includes automated code transformation and synthesis, automated qualification, and a framework for adapting a system to changes in its environment without sacrificing performance. APEX is sharply focused on embedded applications and DSPs, but the infrastructure encompasses a comprehensive, integrated solution that spans the entire product life-cycle.

Organization of the Embedded Software Center:

ESC has a Board of Governors with Dean William Osborne as the Chair and one member from each strategic partner. Its research staff includes a director (Farokh B. Bastani), a managing director (Yi Deng), and several UTD faculty and students and visiting scientists from industrial partners. ESC researchers from UTD and industry are working closely together on prototype development with periodic demonstration projects to assess the APEX infrastructure and measure the productivity and quality gains. ESC is strongly committed to work with its industrial partners for technology transfer and more in-depth demonstration projects.

For more information, please contact us at

The Embedded Software Center, M/S EC 31
The University of  Texas at Dallas
Richardson, TX 75083-0688

Phone: 1-972-883-2896
Fax: 1-972-883-2349
URL: http://www.utdallas.edu/research/esc/

The APEX Infrastructure:

At the heart of APEX is the Online Repository for Embedded Software (ORES), a distributed collaborative web-based repository system connecting application developers with component vendors. The first step in the development process is a new COTS Aware Requirements Engineering (CARE) methodology that adapts a product concept to maximize the use of existing software in its implementation. Then, a novel design method, DICE (Design for Independent Composition and Evaluation), is used to decompose the application into a set of independent subsystems. Each subsystem is developed using the AutoMAIC (Automated Modification And Integration of Components) utilities and tested using a set of powerful simulation and analysis tools in EASiQA (Environment for Automated Simulation and Quality Analysis). The subsystems are then automatically composed together by the APEX Frameware and strengthened by the High-assurance Automated Requirements and Design Enhancement (HARDEn) system. APEX supports major industry standards. It is XDAIS compliant and is compatible with OMG CORBA and UML.

What is Embedded Software ?

Embedded software is used to control electronic products not normally identified as computers. Embedded software usually executes on an internal micro-controller or a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) used to control other product components. Typically, such software must be extremely reliable, very efficient and compact, and precise in its handling of the rapid and unpredictable timing of inputs and outputs. Products that contain embedded software include cellular telephone handsets & base-stations, portable MP3 players, television set-top boxes, data network switching equipment, automobiles, modems and hard disk drives, high efficiency electric motors, and digital cameras.