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A Framework to Generate Domain-Specific Manycore Architectures from Dataflow Programs

Savas, Süleyman, Ul-Abdin, Zain, Nordström, Tomas

Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)


In the last 15 years we have seen, as a response to power and thermal limits for current chip technologies, an explosion in the use of multiple and even many computer cores on a single chip. But now, to further improve performance and energy efficiency, when there are potentially hundreds of computing cores on a chip, we see a need for a specialization of individual cores and the development of heterogeneous manycore computer architectures.

However, developing such heterogeneous architectures is a significant challenge. Therefore, we propose a design method to generate domain specific manycore architectures based on RISC-V instruction set architecture and automate the main steps of this method with software tools. The design method allows generation of manycore architectures with different configurations including core augmentation through instruction extensions and custom accelerators. The method starts from developing applications in a high-level dataflow language and ends by generating synthesizable Verilog code and cycle accurate emulator for the generated architecture.

We evaluate the design method and the software tools by generating several architectures specialized for two different applications and measure their performance and hardware resource usages. Our results show that the design method can be used to generate specialized manycore architectures targeting applications from different domains. The specialized architectures show at least 3 to 4 times better performance than the general purpose counterparts. In certain cases, replacing general purpose components with specialized components saves hardware resources. Automating the method increases the speed of architecture development and facilitates the design space exploration of manycore architectures.

Nyckelord: Domain-specific; multicore; manycore; accelerator; code generation; hardware/software co-design

Citera: Savas, Süleyman, Ul-Abdin, Zain & Nordström, Tomas, A framework to generate domain-specific manycore architectures from dataflow programs, Microprocessors and Microsystems., 72, 2020https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micpro.2019.102908