Journal article Open Access
The evolution to next generation embedded systems is shortening the obsolescence period of the underlying hardware. As this happens, software designed for those platforms (a.k.a., legacy code), that might be functionally correct and validated code, may be lost in the architecture and peripheral change unless a retargeting approach is applied. Embedded systems often have real-time computing constraints, therefore, the legacy code retargeting issue directly affects real-time systems. When dealing with real-time legacy code migration, the timing as well as the functional behaviour must be preserved. This article sets the focus on the timing issue, providing a migration path to real-time legacy embedded control applications by integrating a portable timing enforcement mechanism into a machine-adaptable binary translation tool. The proposed timing enforcement solution provides at the same time means for validating the legacy timing behaviour on the new hardware platform using formal timing specifications in the form of contracts.