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A Methodology for Predicting Application-Specific Achievable Memory Bandwidth for HW/SW-Codesign

Göbel, Matthias; Elhossini, Ahmed; Juurlink, Ben

The trend of using heterogeneous computing and HW/SW-Codesign approaches allows increasing performance significantly while reducing power consumption. One of the main challenges when combining multiple processing devices is the communication, as an inefficient communication configuration can pose a bottleneck to the overall system performance. To address this problem, we present a methodology that assists the designer in making good design decisions for systems using shared DDR memory for communication. Our methodology analyzes a software implementation of the application and subsequently predicts the memory accesses of a functionally equivalent hardware implementation of the selected function. We furthermore propose an IP core that can perform these predicted memory accesses to estimate the achievable memory bandwidth between a functionally equivalent hardware implementation and shared memory. The resulting achievable memory bandwidth estimations differ by less than 2% from the actual achievable memory bandwidth of a functionally equivalent hardware implementation, demonstrating the feasibility of the presented methodology.
Published in: 2017 Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), 10.1109/DSD.2017.40, IEEE