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TASTE is a set of freely-available tools dedicated to the development of embedded, real-time systems. It is developed by the European Space Agency together with a set of partners from the space industry.

TASTE allows software designers to easily integrate heteregeneous pieces of code produced either manually (in C or Ada) or automatically by external modelling tools such as MATLAB Simulink and SDL using Pragmadev Studio or OpenGEODE.

Consistency of the integration is ensured through the use of two formal modelling languages : AADL and ASN.1.

By using TASTE, a software system architect can easily produce a complete and homogeneous system in three steps as depicted by the following figure (see below).

The TASTE process


  • Produce an homogeneous SW system from a set of heterogeneous functions (Written in C, Ada, Simulink, VHDL, SCADE, and/or SDL)
  • Provide facilities for schedulability analysis (Integrates CHEDDAR, MAST, and Marzhin)
  • Provide features for early verification and testing of the generated SW (GUIs and Python scripts)
  • Provides built-in behavioural modelling facilities (state machine editor) and automatic code generation
  • Generate multiple implementations (manage distribution) from one unique model: ease application portability
  • Supports the integration of FPGA components
  • Support expandability of features through openness to external tools.
  • Supports connection with SQL databases


This picture shows the main TASTE graphical editor, called Space Creator.

Space Creator

This picture shows an example of an SDL/RTDS "function skeleton" generated by TASTE. TASTE generates an SDL state machine and all its "SIGNAL" and datatypes parameters, so that the end user only has to fill the content of the state machine. TASTE does the same for Ada, C, Simulink, SCADE, and VHDL.

SDL/RTDS "function skeleton"

TASTE also comes with two built-in (free) SDL editors that allow graphical description of state machines, and automatic code generation:

OpenGEODE built-in SDL editor

This picture shows a graphical user interface automatically generated by TASTE to "stub" a function declared in the Interface View. It is possible to interact with the rest of the system at runtime, by sending and receiving messages, and plotting data. Trace of execution (exchanges of messages) is recorded in the form of sequence diagrams (MSC documents) and can be converted to Python scripts. This way, complex interaction with the system can be programmed in order to validate operational scenario at runtime on the target.

automatically generated GUI

Supported architectures and targets

The complete list of supported architectures and OSes is here [1].


TASTE is made of a number of components and does not have a single licensing scheme.

All tools can be used freely; and almost all of them are available under open-source licenses (GPL or LGPL).

An overview of the licenses used in the core TASTE components follows below. As an executive summary: since the run-time libraries and the code created by TASTE's code generators will become a part of any "flight code" compiled binaries, they are licensed in a way that allows them to be freely used; with no licensing impacts or constraints of any kind.

Simply put, their license does not "contaminate" your own software.

  • Ocarina — AADL parser and code generator, licensed under the GPLv3 with run-time exceptions.
  • ASN1SCC and DMT — ASN.1 toolchains, licensed under the GPLv2 (or later) with run-time exceptions.
  • OpenGEODE — SDL editor and code generator, licensed under LGPL3 (it includes no run-time).
  • RTEMS, Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems, licensed under GPL2 with a specific runtime exception licence from https://www.rtems.org/license. Newer versions are considering moving to even more liberal licenses (BSD).
  • Kazoo (model transformation) - licensed under LGPLv3 (developed specifically for TASTE)
  • Space Creator - LGPL

TASTE also uses the following modeling tools (see below). These tools produce intermediate models or perform analysis on these models - and as such, they do not generate any artefacts that become part of the final binaries - they are only used to "feed" the code generators. The output of the code generators - the one that actually "flies" - is governed by the licences of the tools shown in the previous section.

  • Cheddar and Marzhin (Scheduling Analysis) are third-party tools, integrated into TASTE by Ellidiss - and distributed under specific TASTE conditions that allow end-users to use them only in the context of TASTE. See $HOME/tool-src/ellidiss-GUI/TASTE-linux/doc/License.pdf in TASTE VM for more details.