Journal article

HW-SW Emulation Framework for Temperature-Aware Design in MPSoCs

New tendencies envisage Multi-Processor Systems-On-Chip (MPSoCs) as a promising solution for the consumer electronics market. MPSoCs are complex to design, as they must execute multiple applications (games, video), while meeting additional design constraints (energy consumption, time-to-market). Moreover, the rise of temperature in the die for MPSoCs can seriously affect their final performance and reliability. In this paper, we present a new hardware-software emulation framework that allows designers a complete exploration of the thermal behavior of final MPSoC designs early in the design flow. The proposed framework uses FPGA emulation as the key element to model the hardware components of the considered MPSoC platform at multi-megahertz speeds. It automatically extracts detailed system statistics that are used as input to our software thermal library running in a host computer. This library calculates at run-time the temperature of on-chip components, based on the collected statistics from the emulated system and the final floorplan of the MPSoC. This enables fast testing of various thermal management techniques. Our results show speed-ups of three orders of magnitude compared to cycle-accurate MPSoC simulators

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