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DACS: Design Methodologies
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Design Methodologies

The remainder of this document presents the design and implementation of the hardware, firmware, and software that comprise the DACS. For most design work, a top-down methodology was chosen, except in cases where it made sense to work from the low-level and the high-level simultaneously. Individual hardware and software component specifications were derived from an overall system design, which was formed using a tabula rasa approach. Essentially, this involved starting with a clean slate rather than preconceived notions from any previous project work. Only after some preliminary design work was done with this method were learnings from previous work introduced. The resulting synthesis was then checked for practicality. The whole process was iterated until a reasonable design was achieved. This process was carried out at various levels of complexity, right down to the component level in hardware, and code level for firmware and software. At several points down the development chain, it made sense to re-evaluate goals and specifications set at a higher level. In some instances, it was realized that some high-level goals could not be achieved due to problems at lower levels. In most cases, though, an attempt was made to temper high-level goals and specifications with enough real-world knowledge to avoid any major problems or re-working of the original designs. At the highest level, the two custom pieces of hardware ended up, in the end, to be very similar to what was originally envisioned. Early renderings, shown in later sections, very closely match the final products. This seems to be a good indication that the high-level design goals were set ambitiously (due to the amount of work it took to get the products to that point), but not unrealistically (due to the fact that it actually is at that point).
next up previous contents
Next: Application Analysis Up: Introduction Previous: Introduction   Contents
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06
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