Conference Paper

Memory Models for an Application-Specific Instruction-set Processor Design Flow

Dept. of Inf. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Feng Chia Univ., Taichung;
DOI: 10.1109/ICESS.2008.40 Conference: Embedded Software and Systems, 2008. ICESS '08. International Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT To optimize system performance for a specific target application, embedded system designers may add some new instructions, called application-specific instructions (ASIs), by automatic design flow. In past days, most application-specific instruction-set processor (ASIP) researches focus on reducing instruction latency to improve performance regardless of the impact of memory access. In this paper, a design flow is proposed to automatically generate ASIs and to compare the performance between considering register transferring and regardless of it. The experiment results show the proposed approach can achieve up to 14% performance improvement and 10% memory access reduction comparing to no register transferring consideration.

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    ABSTRACT: Efficiency in embedded systems is paramount to achieve high performance while consuming less area and power. Processors in embedded systems have to be designed carefully to achieve such design constraints. Application Specific Instruction set Processors (ASIPs) exploit the nature of applications to design an optimal instruction set. Despite being not general to execute any application, ASIPs are highly preferred in the embedded systems industry where the devices are produced to satisfy a certain type of application domain/s (either intra-domain or inter-domain). Typically, ASIPs are designed from a base-processor and functionalities are added for applications. This paper studies the multi-application ASIPs and their instruction sets, extensively analysing the instructions for inter-domain and intra-domain designs. Metrics analysed are the reusable instructions and the extra cost to add a certain application. A wide range of applications from various application benchmarks (MiBench, MediaBench and SPEC2006) and domains are analysed for two different architectures (ARM-Thumb and PISA). Our study shows that the intra-domain applications contain larger number of common instructions, whereas the inter-domain applications have very less common instructions, regardless of the architecture (and therefore the ISA).