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A quantitative analysis of reconfigurable coprocessors for multimedia applications

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2 Author(s)
Miyamori, T. ; Syst. ULSI Eng. Lab., Toshiba Corp., Japan ; Olukotun, K.

Recently, computer architectures that combine a reconfigurable (or retargetable) coprocessor with a general-purpose microprocessor have been proposed. These architectures are designed to exploit large amounts of fine grain parallelism in applications. In this paper, we study the performance of the reconfigurable coprocessors on multimedia applications. We compare a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based reconfigurable coprocessor with the array processor called REMARC (Reconfigurable Multimedia Array Coprocessor). REMARC uses a 16-bit simple processor that is much larger than a Configurable Logic Block (CLB) of an FPGA. We have developed a simulator, a programming environment, and multimedia application programs to evaluate the performance of the two coprocessor architectures. The simulation results show that REMARC achieves speedups ranging from a factor of 2.3 to 7.3 on these applications. The FPGA coprocessor achieves similar performance improvements. However, the FPGA coprocessor needs more hardware area to achieve the same performance improvement as REMARC

Published in:

FPGAs for Custom Computing Machines, 1998. Proceedings. IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Apr 1998