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Prof. Gerd Ascheid, RWTH Aachen University, Germany


Efficiency, Flexibility and Ease of Programming - A comparison of two opposite architectural approaches


Application specific MPSoC platforms on one hand must support a wide range of variants of the application (flexibility). E.g. a software defined radio should allow implementation of various communication standards and non-standard communication systems as well as different processing solutions for each system type. On the other hand, the platform should enable high throughput in an energy efficient and - at least to some extent - area efficient way (efficiency). A third aspect, which must not be ignored, is the ease of use (ease of programming). It may include specific tools and/or libraries, which should be acceptable as long as they can be integrated easily in common tool flows. Two opposite approaches are considered in the presentation: application matching combination of architectural features in a processor vs. inclusion of a programmable accelerator, i.e. a coarse grained reconfigurable array (CGRA). Both architectural approaches are briefly described an then compared with respect to efficiency, flexibility and ease of programming.


Gerd Ascheid (Senior Member IEEE) received the Dipl.-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. degrees in Electrical Engineering (Commun. Eng.) from RWTH Aachen University. Before being appointed to a full professor position at RWTH Aachen University he worked 9 years for SYNOPSYS, a California-based EDA market leader, where his last position was Senior Director, Wireless & Broadband Communications Service Line. Since April 2003 Gerd Ascheid heads the Institute for Integrated Signal Processing Systems and since October 2012 he is Speaker of the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) profile area at RWTH Aachen University. His research interest is in mobile communication, with focus on the physical layer, application specific processing architectures, in particular, heterogeneous MPSoC platforms, and flexible transceivers (Software Defined Radio, SDR). He is co-founder of CADIS and of LisaTek, EDA tool providers which both are now part of Synopsys Inc, and recently co-founded a new start-up, ICE Gateways GmbH.

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