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Users expect future handheld devices to provide extended multimedia functionality and have long battery life. This type of application imposes heavy constraints on both (realtime) performance and energy consumption and forces designers to optimise all parts of their platform. In this experiment we focus on the different processor core design options for embedded platforms, including the effect of instruction memory hierarchy on the energy consumption. The results show that significant improvements for energy efficiency and/or performance over currently used RISC or VLIW processors can be achieved. We conclude, based on concrete data for a realistic application, that different styles, including both configurable hardware and instruction set processors, find their way into heterogeneous platforms and designers need to be aware of the trade-offs. Secondly, we show for the same application task that a heavily optimised instruction/configuration memory hierarchy can significantly reduce the energy consumption of this part, so it forms a crucial part of every energy aware design.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Dec. 2004