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Mapping of applications to multiprocessor systems

There is a continuing demand for higher performance of information processing. This growing demand stimulates using a growing amount of parallelism (including using multiple processors), due to limitations of increasing clock speeds any further. This trend also affects the design of embedded systems. Hardware platforms, containing connected processors, are becoming increasingly parallel. Actually, there are various kinds of connectivity. In multiprocessors in a system on a chip (MPSoC), processors are tightly connected and communication is fast. In other cases, networked processors may be less tightly connected and communication may be slower. In this activity, we are addressing the issues resulting from the use of MPSoCs.

Using multiprocessor systems was studied with quite some effort for general-purpose computing and it was only partially successful.

For embedded systems, the situation is different in many respects:

  • For efficiency reasons, execution platforms in this domain are typically using heterogeneous processors. Some of these are dedicated toward particular computations. Memory architectures may be rather complex.
  • In general, we are considering use cases consisting of several applications at the same time. For these, certain properties have to be met. For example, there should be no audible cracks on a multimedia phone, if a file transfer is performed concurrently with a telephone call.
  • Designs are accepted, if the real-time constraints are met. There is no sense in a further reduction of computation times by increasing parallelism beyond this target.
  • There are a limited number of tasks and processors.
  • Embedded System code is typically more constrained than general-purpose computing code. This property is frequently enabling various forms of static analysis.

Our goal is to provide mapping techniques taking this situation into account.

Current project:

The work described above is our focus in the ArtistDesign network of excellence, funded by the European Commission through the 7th framework programme. The network provides an appropriate environment for discussions between specialists in the area. It supports workshops and visits of faculty members. Actual implementation work has to be funded from other sources.

Meetings:

The following meetings were held:

 

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