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High-level synthesis (HLS) of memory-intensive applications has featured several innovations in terms of enhancements made to the basic memory organization and data layout. However, increasing performance and energy demands faced by application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are forcing designers to alter the fundamental architectural template of the HLS output, namely, a controller-datapath associated with a memory subsystem (monolithic, banked, etc.). We propose an architectural template for the HLS output that consists of a controller-datapath circuit associated with a memory subsystem into which computation units have been integrated. The enhanced memory subsystem is called computation-unit integrated memory (CIM). A CIM offers higher memory bandwidth (relative to what is offered through the system bus) to computation units present locally within it and reduces the overall communication between the memory subsystem and the controller-datapath, thus providing a template highly suitable for deriving efficient implementations of memory-intensive applications. This work addresses the challenge of providing an automatic synthesis framework for a CIM-based architecture. Our framework can analyze the various trade-offs involved in selecting suitable operations in a behavior for execution using a CIM and generate a high-performance, low-overhead implementation. Experiments with several behaviors indicate that an average performance improvement of 1.88× (a maximum of 2.63×) is possible with very low area overheads. The energy-delay product improves by an average of 2.1× (maximum of 3.4×).
Date of Conference: 7-11 Nov. 2004