Skip to Main Content
One of the most challenging design issues for next generations of (mobile) communication systems is fulfilling the computational demands while finding an optimum trade-off between flexibility and implementation aspects, especially power consumption. Flexibility of modern architectures is desirable, e.g. concerning adaptation to new standards and reduction of time-to-market of a new product. Typical target architectures for future systems on chip include embedded FPGAs, dedicated macros as well as programmable digital signal and control oriented processor cores as each of these has its specific advantages. For such a heterogeneous architecture optimum partitioning plays a crucial role. On the exemplary vehicle of a Viterbi decoder as frequently used in communication systems we show which costs in terms of ATE complexity arise implementing typical components on different types of architecture blocks. Extending this comparison to further components, it is shown quantitatively that the cost ratio between different implementation alternatives is closely related to the operation to be performed. This information is essential for optimum partitioning of heterogeneous systems.