Efficient System-Level Hardware Synthesis of Dataflow Programs Using Shared Memory Based FIFO
Journal of Signal Processing Systems
Image and video processing applications are characterized by the processing of a huge amount of data. The design of such complex applications with traditional design methodologies at lowlevel of abstraction causes increasing development costs. In order to resolve the above mentioned challenges, Electronic System Level (ESL) synthesis or High-Level Synthesis (HLS) tools were proposed. The basic premise is to model the behavior of the entire system using high-level specifications, and to enable
... e automatic synthesis to low-level specifications for efficient implementation in Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). However, the main downside of the HLS tools is the lack of the entire system consideration, i.e. the establishment of the communications between these components to achieve the system-level is not yet considered. The purpose of this thesis is to raise the level of abstraction in the design of embedded systems to the system-level. A novel design flow was proposed that enables an efficient hardware implementation of video processing applications described using a Domain Specific Language (DSL) for dataflow programming. The design flow combines a dataflow compiler for generating C-based HLS descriptions from a dataflow description and a C-to-gate synthesizer for generating Register-Transfer Level (RTL) descriptions. The challenge of implementing the communication channels of dataflow programs relying on Model of Computation (MoC) in FPGA is the minimization of the communication overhead. In this issue, we introduced a new interface synthesis approach that maps the large amounts of data that multimedia and image processing applications process, to shared memories on the FPGA. This leads to a tremendous decrease in the latency and an increase in the throughput. These results were demonstrated upon the hardware synthesis of the emerging High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard.