| The block diagram shows the interaction of the hardware and software, client and Dynamic Engineering as well as a peak at our basic approach to architecture.
The hardware is the embedded firmware, PCB and components used in the design.
The driver is really several pieces of software that are compiled together to make the "Base" and "Channel" system files. The base is aligned with the general purpose functions of the board. The base module is installed first and facilitates the loading of the channel(s).
The channels are the logic associated with a specific function. For example the PMC-SpaceWire design has 4 channels. Each channel is independent of the other channels from a programming model point of view. By breaking the HW into groups that contain a common function - Channels - the software can be much easier to implement for the Driver and for the Application layers. For the Driver it is easier because the same channel software can be called multiple times since each channel is identical - just with a base address offset. This means less software maintenance and fewer places where "accidents" can occur. This also means the corresponding channel application SW can be identical since each channel uses the same calls. For example, the PMC-BiSerial-III-HW1 has 32 identical channels. The channel number is passed in to differentiate. In cases where the channels have different functions, the channels are loaded with different channel drivers corresponding to those channels. For example the PMC-BiSerial-III-ORB2 has 2 channels each of 4 different functions plus a GPIO function which is loaded in the base driver.