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This work focuses on communication architecture analysis for multi-processor systems-on-chips (MPSoCs), and it leverages a SystemC-based platform to simulate a complete multi-processor system at the cycle-accurate and signal-accurate level. These features allow to stimulate the communication sub-system with functional traffic generated by real applications running on top of a configurable number of ARM processors. This opens up the possibility for communication infrastructure exploration and for the investigation of its impact on system performance at the highest level of accuracy. Our simulation environment proved capable of a detailed comparative analysis between two industry-standard communication architectures, under realistic workloads and different system configurations, pointing out the impact of fine grained architectural mismatches on macroscopic performance differences.