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ThinkMind // CENICS 2017, The Tenth International Conference on Advances in Circuits, Electronics and Micro-electronics // View article cenics_2017_3_40_68007


Custom Hardware Integration into DBT-based Processor Simulation

Authors:
Steffen Köhler
Rainer Spallek

Keywords: Processor Simulation; Dynamic Binary Translation; FPGA Accelerator.

Abstract:
High performance simulation of processor architectures at instruction set / behavioral level often utilizes Dynamic Binary Translation (DBT) techniques to achieve an efficient mapping to the simulation host. While the behavior of most standard processor operations can be directly translated into host processor instructions due to their similarities, the behavior of complex application specific instructions or peripheral components are less suitable for host processor execution. In this paper we discuss the migration of application specific behavioral processor model partitions to field programmable accelerator hardware to achieve an overall co-simulation speedup. For an in-depth evaluation, the integration of an off-the-shelf Field Programmamble Gate Array (FPGA) into our DBT-based processor simulation framework RUBICS (Retargetable Universal Binary Instruction Conversion Simulator) was considered. RUBICS is a flexible behavioral modelling and simulation platform framework for embedded processor architectures and complete Systems-on-a-Chip (SoC). In a case study, we show the behavior model migration of an application specific peripheral co-processor into a synthesizable hardware description mapped to the FPGA accelerator. Only minor changes are required to the original ARMv7 processor model description given in RUBICS's dedicated Architecture Description Language (ADL). An overall simulation speedup between 300% and 540% has been achieved by migrating the main calculation partition of a numeric transform peripheral to the FPGA accelerator. Challenges of the communication-driven model partitioning as well as the achievable simulation speedup are discussed.

Pages: 49 to 54

Copyright: Copyright (c) IARIA, 2017

Publication date: September 10, 2017

Published in: conference

ISSN: 2308-426X

ISBN: 978-1-61208-585-2

Location: Rome, Italy

Dates: from September 10, 2017 to September 14, 2017

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