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Arrays in behavioral specifications that are too large to fit into on-chip registers are usually mapped to off-chip memories during behavioral synthesis. We address the problem of system power reduction through transition count minimization on the memory address bus when these arrays are accessed from memory. We exploit regularity and spatial locality in the memory accesses and determine the mapping of behavioral array references to physical memory locations to minimize address bus transitions. We describe array mapping strategies for two important memory configurations: all behavioral arrays mapped to a single off-chip memory and arrays mapped into multiple memory modules drawn from a library. For the single memory configuration, we describe a heuristic for selecting a memory mapping scheme to achieve low power for each behavioral array. For mapping into a library of multiple memory modules, we formulate the problem as three logical-to-physical memory mapping subtasks and present experiments demonstrating the transition count reductions based on our approach. Our experiments on several image processing benchmarks show power savings of up to 63% through reduced transition activity on the memory address bus in the single memory case. We also observe a further transition count reduction by a factor of 1.5-6.7 over a straightforward mapping scheme in the multiple memories configuration.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:7 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 1999