UCI Cadlab
Conference Papers 2005-2009


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PDF aspdac08_swSyn

Gunar Schirner, Andreas Gerstlauer, Rainer Dömer,
"Automatic Generation of Hardware dependent Software for MPSoCs from Abstract System Specifications,"
Proceedings of the Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference,
Seoul, Korea, January 2008.

Increasing software content in embedded systems and SoCs drives the demand to automatically synthesize software binaries from abstract models. This is especially critical for Hardware dependent Software (HdS) due to the tight coupling.

In this paper, we present our approach to automatically synthesize HdS from an abstract system model. We synthesize driver code, interrupt handlers and startup code. We furthermore automatically adjust the application to use RTOS services. We target traditional RTOS-based multi-tasking solutions, as well as a pure interrupt-based implementation (without any RTOS).

Our experimental results show the automatic generation of final binary images for six real-life target applications and demonstrate significant productivity gains due to automation. Our HdS synthesis is an enabler for efficient MPSoC development and rapid design space exploration.


PDF aspdac07_proc

Gunar Schirner, Andreas Gerstlauer, Rainer Dömer,
"Abstract, Multifaceted Modeling of Embedded Processors for System Level Design,"
Proceedings of the Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference,
Yokohama, Japan, January 2007.

Embedded software is playing an increasing role in todays SoC designs. It allows a flexible adaptation to evolving standards and to customer specific demands. As software emerges more and more as a design bottleneck, early, fast, and accurate simulation of software becomes crucial. Therefore, an efficient modeling of programmable processors at high levels of abstraction is required.

In this article, we focus on abstraction of computation and describe our abstract modeling of embedded processors. We combine the computation modeling with task scheduling support and accurate interrupt handling into a versatile, multi-faceted processor model with varying levels of features.

Incorporating the abstract processor model into a communication model, we achieve fast co-simulation of a complete custom target architecture for a system level design exploration. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach using an industrial strength telecommunication example executing on a Motorola DSP architecture. Our results indicate the tremendous value of abstract processor modeling. Different feature levels achieve a simulation speedup of up to 6600 times with an error of less than 8% over a ISS based simulation. On the other hand, our full featured model exhibits a 3% error in simulated timing with a 1800 times speedup.


PDF codes06_sccr

Dongwan Shin, Andreas Gerstlauer, Junyu Peng, Rainer Dömer, Daniel D. Gajski,
"Automatic Generation of Transaction-Level Models for Rapid Design Space Exploration,"
Proceedings of the International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis,
Seoul, Korea, October 2006.

Transaction-level modeling has been touted to improve simulation performance and modeling efficiency for early design space exploration. But no tools are available to generate such transaction-level models from abstract input descriptions. Designers have to write such models manually, which is a tedious and error-prone task, and one of bottlenecks in improving designer's productivity. In this paper, we propose a method to generate transaction-level models from virtual architecture models where components communicate via abstract message-passing channels. We have applied our approach to a set of industrial-strength examples with a wide range of target architectures. Experimental results show that signicant productivity gains can be achieved, demonstrating the effectiveness and benets of our approach for rapid, early exploration of communication design space.


PDF isocc06_fsmd

Rainer Dömer, Andreas Gerstlauer, Dongwan Shin,
"Cycle-accurate RTL Modeling with Multi-Cycled and Pipelined Components,"
Proceedings of the International SoC Design Conference,
Seoul, Korea, October 2006.

Despite extensive research efforts for a number of years, modeling of RTL designs has still not reached a satisfactory state. Behavioral RTL design models still lack cycle-accuracy when multi-cycle and/or pipelined components are used. With such components, cycle-accuracy is only reached at the end of the RTL design flow when a complex structural netlist is obtained. Observation, debugging and modification efforts, however, are very tedious and difficult in such a model due to its complexity.

This paper provides a simple yet powerful solution to this problem. An easy-to-understand RTL model is proposed that supports clock-cycle accuracy in a behavioral description even in the presence of multi-cycled and/or pipelined components. Experiments show the effectiveness of the approach for specification, simulation, and synthesis.


PDF codes05_scnr

Dongwan Shin, Andreas Gerstlauer, Rainer Dömer, Daniel D. Gajski,
"Automatic Network Generation for System-On-Chip Communication Design,"
Proceedings of the International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis,
Jersey City, NJ, September 2005.

With growing system complexities, system-level communication design is becoming increasingly important and advanced, network-oriented communication architectures become necessary. In this paper, we extend previous work on automatic communication refinement to support non-traditional, network-oriented architectures beyond a single bus. From an abstract description of the desired communication channels, the refinement tools automatically generate executable models and implementations of the system communication at various levels of abstraction. Experimental results show that significant productivity gains can be achieved, demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach for rapid, early communication design space exploration.


PDF Postscript aspdac05_tlm

Andreas Gerstlauer, Dongwan Shin, Rainer Dömer, Daniel D. Gajski,
"System-Level Communication Modeling for Network-On-Chip Synthesis,"
Proceedings of the Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference,
Shanghai, China, January 2005.

As we are entering the network-on-chip era and system communication is becoming a dominating factor, communication abstraction and synthesis are becoming the integral part of system design flows. The key to the success of any design flow are well-defined abstraction levels and models, which enable automation of early validation, synthesis and verification. In this paper, we de ne system communication abstraction layers and corresponding design models that support successive, stepwise refinement from abstract message-passing down to a cycle-accurate, bus-functional implementation. Experimental results show the benefits of our definitions and design flow.


PDF aspdac05_profiler

Lukai Cai, Andreas Gerstlauer, Daniel D. Gajski,
"Multi-Metric and Multi-Entity Characterization of Applications for Early System Design Exploration,"
Proceedings of the Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference,
Shanghai, China, January 2005.

At system level, intensively analyzing the system application will produce a variety of useful characteristics and provide designers valuable exploration indications. In this paper, we present such an analysis approach based on the instrumentation-based profiling. The proposed approach analyzes complex system application and generates multi-metric and multi-entity characteristics. Experimental results show the applicability of the approach for efficient early design space exploration.


Last update: January 25, 2005 by A. Gerstlauer (gerstl@cecs.uci.edu).