Application-oriented optimizations for embedded systems: architecture, tradeoffs, and case studies




Pfrimmer, Josh Cory

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Power efficiency and processor performance demands on modem embedded systems are steadily increasing, and manufacturing improvements are allowing for greater customization of Systems-on-Chip. Meanwhile, the diversification of embedded systems into a growing number of applications, and the continual growth and increasing adoption rate of existing applications drive a trend towards platform based design. Custom and semi-custom platforms allow optimization of hardware to meet the specific needs of individual applications; those specific needs must be determined on a case-by-case basis, but are closely correlated to families of embedded workloads. This thesis presents the embedded system designer with a discussion on available hardware customizations and architectural tradeoffs, categorized in terms of workload and application. Case studies illustrate a process by which the designer can explore such optimizations for their specific application. An in-depth examination is provided for one such tradeoff, on-chip memory configuration, including an empirical analysis of the measurable benefits.



embedded computer systems