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Automatic Design of Reconfigurable Domain-Specific Flexible Cores

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2 Author(s)
Compton, K. ; Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison ; Hauck, S.

Reconfigurable hardware is ideal for use in systems-on-a-chip (SoC), as it provides both hardware-level performance and post-fabrication flexibility. However, any one architecture is rarely equally optimized for all applications. SoCs targeting a specific set of applications can greatly benefit from incorporating customized reconfigurable logic instead of generic field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) logic. Unfortunately, manually designing a domain-specific architecture for every SoC would require significant design time. Instead, this paper discusses our initial efforts towards creating a reconfigurable hardware generator capable of automatically creating flexible, yet domain-specific, designs. Our tests indicate that our generated architectures are more than 5times smaller than equivalent FPGA implementations and nearly as area-efficient as standard cell designs. We also use a novel technique employing synthetic circuit generation to demonstrate the flexibility of our architecture generation techniques.

Published in:

Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )