Donald Thomas

Professor Emeritus – ECE
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Telephone (412)-268-3545
Fax (412)-268-1374

Research Interests

Hardware-Software Codesign

Computer systems have grown from comparatively simple logic devices 50 years ago to the extremely complex systems of today. Current and future computer systems contain both hardware and software models at arbitrary points in the system views, and thus require that the design of the hardware and software parts be handled concurrently. Concurrent design (codesign) demands a means to model the whole system so that its performance can be analyzed through simulation and its alternate implementations can be considered through iterative synthesis. Since design decisions in one domain can affect decisions in the other, the need for a common model is critical.

Our research aims to develop codesign modeling techniques that allow systems to be described in traditional hardware and software languages, but co-execute in a simulation. Toward this end, the research must develop an understanding of the fundamental similarities and differences of hardware and software models, and then develop a basis for merging them for simulation. Hardware-software partitioning remains an important goal for systems described in this way as designers must consider repartitioning the hardware and software boundaries in response to new technologies and constraints.

In the News

  • Professor Don Thomas gives keynote at MSE-2015
  • Celebration of Education
  • ECE professors receive Best Paper Award at ISIC
  • Thomas Wins SIGDA Pioneering Achievement Award
  • 50th Design Automation Conference (DAC)
  • ECE Faculty Win Accolades from IEEE and ACM
  • ECE Faculty Win Awards at DAC
  • Carnegie Mellon Wins Best Paper Award; Faculty Help Plan RTSS
  • CSSI Participates in DAC; Hosts Alumni & Friends Reception
  • Thomas Named Outstanding Professor by National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  •  Donald  Thomas

    Carnegie Mellon, 1977

    Research Area



    Computer-aided design of single chip heterogeneous multiprocessing systems


    PhD, 1977
    Electrical Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    MS, 1974
    Electrical Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    BS, 1973
    Electrical Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University