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Performance Improvement through Path-Based Partitioning in Hardware/Software Co-Design


Elham Azari and Hakduran Koc


Vol. 20  No. 5  pp. 171-180


In co-design of an embedded system, hardware/software partitioning has always been a crucial step. Efficient partitioning improves the overall performance of a system significantly. As allocating tasks to either hardware or software components has its own advantages and disadvantages, it typically becomes necessary to tradeoff among the main design metrics such as performance and area. This paper proposes a new approach in partitioning the tasks in a given Control Data Flow Graph (CDFG) to enhance the performance while meeting the area constraint. In order to effectively perform partitioning phase of the co-design, the combination of two main paths are considered: hot path and critical path. These two paths dominate the total execution time of a system. The target co-design architecture consists of two CPUs and two ASICs with different execution time for each task. This paper partitions the hot path and the critical path, and tries to assign as many tasks as possible to the ASICs by giving higher priority to the tasks in the hot paths which directly have significant effect on the critical path. Consequently, the total execution time of a given application is reduced. This, in turn, improves the overall performance without degrading other implementation metrics such as power and reliability. The experimental results collected in this research indicate that the proposed path-based partitioning method on the co-design architecture improves the performance significantly.


Co-design architecture, hardware/software partitioning, CDFG, hot path, critical path.