Combining on-hardware prototyping and high-level simulation for DSE of multi-ASIP systems
2012 International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems (SAMOS)
Modern heterogeneous multi-processor embedded systems very often expose to the designer a large number of degrees of freedom, related to the application partitioning/mapping and to the component-and system-level architecture composition. The number is even larger when the designer targets systems based on configurable Application Specific Instructionset Processors, due to the fine customizability of their internal architecture. This poses the need for effective and user-friendly design tools,
... pable to deal with the extremely wide systemlevel design space exposed by multi-processor architecture and, at the same time, with an extended variety of processing element architectural configurations, to be evaluated in detail and in reasonable times. As a possible solution, within the MADNESS project , an integrated toolset has been proposed, combining the benefits of novel fast FPGA-based prototyping techniques with those provided by high-level simulation. In the toolset, the resulting evaluation platform serves as an underlying layer for a Design Space search algorithm. The paper presents the individual tools included in the toolset and their interaction strategy. The approach is then evaluated with a design space exploration case study, taking as a target application a video compression kernel. The integrated toolset has been used to produce a Pareto front of evaluated system-level configurations.