Jelena Trajkovic, a PhD candidate in computer science, and Professor Daniel D Gajski, received best paper award at the second International Embedded System Symposium that took place in Irvine, California from May 30th to June 1st 2007. Their paper is titled “Automatic Data Path Generation from C Code for Custom Processors.” The paper was selected from over 60 submissions on the basis of technical quality and presentation. The authors of the best paper received an Altera Nios II Embedded Development Kit.

Automatic generation of architectures from C code is a fundamentally novel way of addressing the problem of system design. In traditional design methods, architecture is assumed as fixed for implementing an application. Compilers must then figure out the best mapping of the application on the given architecture. This method may result in poor performance because the given architecture may not carry the best features to execute the application code. Moreover, the architecture may carry features that are never used by the application, resulting in wasted power and area. Architecture generation from C code attempts to solve this problem by automatically creating an architecture that “matches” the C code.

In their paper, Jelena and Prof. Gajski present first results for the generation of matching architecture from C code. They address the selection of function units to meet performance goals while maximizing architecture utilization. Their experimental results demonstrate that the architecture could be generated for large C code, including an MP3 decoder with over 14K lines of code, under an hour. The optimizations improved architecture utilization by 30 to 60 percent while meeting performance constraints.

CECS congratulates the researchers on their achievement and wishes them success in their future endeavors.