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Design space exploration for an embedded processor with flexible datapath interconnect

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6 Author(s)
Tung Thanh Hoang ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Chalmers Univ. of Technol., Gothenburg, Sweden ; Jälmbrant, U. ; der Hagopian, E. ; Subramaniyan, K.P.
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The design of an embedded processor is dependent on the application domain. Traditionally, design solutions specific to an application domain have been available in three forms: VLIW-based DSP processors, ASICs and FPGAs; each respectively offering generality of application domain, energy efficiency and flexibility. However, while matching the application domain to the resources needed, the design space becomes huge. We present FlexTools, a tool framework built around the FlexCore architecture to evaluate performance and energy efficiency for different applications. Here we demonstrate FlexTools for design space exploration with a focus on the data-routing flexibility of the FlexCore processor, in search of energy-efficient interconnect configurations that are both cycle-count and hardware efficient. Evaluation results suggest that a well-optimized instance of a 65-nm multiplier-extended FlexCore processor datapath, obtained using FlexTools, executes nine integer EEMBC benchmarks with a 15% cycle count reduction and dissipates 17% less energy than a reference MIPS datapath.

Published in:

Application-specific Systems Architectures and Processors (ASAP), 2010 21st IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-9 July 2010

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