Efficient Emulation Mechanisms and Scalable Interconnection Paradigms (NoCs) for MPSoC Systems

Contact :
David Atienza, PhD, Post-Doctoral Researcher, EPFL-IC-LSI

Computer Architecture and Automation Department (DACYA), UCM, Madrid, Spain
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (DEIS), University of Bologna, Italy

Emulation systems, FPGA, hardware/software co-design, buses, processing cores

With the growing complexity in consumer embedded products and the improvements in process technology, Multi-Processor System-On-Chip (MPSoC) architectures have become widespread. These new systems are very complex to design as they must execute multiple complex real time applications (e.g. video processing, or videogames), while meeting several additional design constraints (e.g. energy consumption or time-to-market). Therefore, mechanisms to efficiently explore the different possible HW/SW design interactions. In order to overcome these problems of efficient modeling of MPSoC systems we propose the use of FPGA emulation, which attains significant speedups compared to cycle accurate mpSoC simulators. Additionally, we include in our emulation framework the exploration of the Network-On-Chip (NoC) interconnection paradigm, a technology recently proposed as a promising replacement for buses and dedicated interconnections.

The goal of this research line is to explore how to extract realistic statistics of mpSoC systems with many cores via FPGA-based emulation mechanisms without deteriorating the performance of such frameworks as occurs with state-of-the-art cycle-accurate simulators. Also, in this line it is studied the complex design space of the new NoC on-chip intercommunication paradigm versus complex high-performance buses.


“A Novel Approach for Network on Chip Emulation”, Nicolas Genko, David Atienza, Giovanni De Micheli, Luca Benini, Jose M. Mendias, Roman Hermida, Francky Catthoor, in Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS ’05), Kobe, Japan, May 2005.

“A Complete Network-On-Chip Emulation Framework”, Nicolas Genko, David Atienza, Giovanni De Micheli, Jose Manuel Mendias, Roman Hermida, Francky Catthoor, in Proceedings of ACM/IEEE Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE ’05), Germany, February 2005.

“NoC Emulation on FPGA: HW/SW Synergy for NoC Features Exploration”, Nicolas Genko, David Atienza, Giovanni De Micheli, in Proceedings of ParCo ’05, pp. 115-122.

“Versatile FPGA-Based Functional Validation Framework for Networks-on-Chip Interconnections Designs”, Javier B. Perez Ramas, David Atienza, et al, Proceedings of ParCo ’05, pp. 140-147.

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