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Platform-Based Design A paper by Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli EE 249, 11/5/2002 Presenter: Mel Tsai. Outline. The Goals of Design The Problem & Trends ASV’s Solution: Platform-based Design Why does it work? Other Definitions of “Platform” The System Platform Stack

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slide1
Platform-Based Design

A paper by

AlbertoSangiovanni-Vincentelli

EE 249, 11/5/2002

Presenter:

Mel Tsai

outline
Outline
  • The Goals of Design
  • The Problem & Trends
  • ASV’s Solution: Platform-based Design
    • Why does it work?
  • Other Definitions of “Platform”
  • The System Platform Stack
    • Architecture Platforms
    • Software (API) Platforms
  • Other Platforms
  • Conclusion
the goals of design
The Goals of Design
  • Minimize:
    • Development costs
    • Production time
  • While Maximizing:
    • Performance (i.e. speed, low power consumption)
    • Functionality (i.e. more features)
    • Production volume (i.e. more profit)
the problem
The Problem
  • Development & production costs are expensive
    • Chip geometries are shrinking – the billion-transistor-on-a-chip age.
    • Complex chips have long design cycles & difficult verification issues… There is a designer “productivity gap” that is exacerbated by short time-to-market.
    • High NRE costs: Mask sets & probe cards are becoming prohibitively expensive. ITRS predicts >$1M for 0.15 micron and smaller.
some trends
Some Trends
  • Full-custom design is being replaced by “library-based” design
    • Trend towards design at higher levels of abstraction
    • Trend towards hardware re-use, in both space and time
  • Short TTM requires architectures that can respond to late specification changes
    • Trend towards architectures with HW or SW programmability
  • Fewer design starts
    • Trend towards higher-volume production of fewer chips
asv s solution platform based design
ASV’s Solution: Platform-based Design
  • Basic idea:
    • Goal is to hide the details of a design through a layered system of abstractions.
    • Identify the most natural and important layers of abstraction, and call them platforms.
      • Application Programming Interface (API) platform
      • Architecture platform
      • Silicon implementation platform
  • Design by successively refininga platform instance until it becomes an instance of a subsequent (lower) platform.
why does it work

Application

Application

Silicon Implementation

Silicon Implementation

Why does it work?
  • Design time & cost are minimized:
    • Design-space at each layer is restricted because underlying layers are abstracted-away. Hence, the design of each platform instance is more manageable.
    • Each layer can be (mostly) designed independently of the others, eliminating the need for complete design-loop iterations when things go wrong.
    • Hardware and/or software components can be re-used if they can be folded into a platform and abstracted properly.
other platform definitions
Other “Platform” Definitions
  • Many overlapping & outdated definitions in the hardwarecontext:
    • A flexible integrated circuit that is customized via programming
    • A family of chips, based on the same microprocessor, that support various applications with different performance requirements
    • A family of architectures that all support the same characteristic abstraction, i.e. the “PC platform”
    • A family of architectures that satisfy a set of architectural constraints imposed to allow the re-use of hardware and software components.
the system platform stack
The System-Platform Stack

Application Space

  • System-Platform Stack: the “sandwich” consisting of the API platform and the Architecture platform.
  • ASV’s Platform-based design is a “meet-in-the-middle” approach
    • It is top-down because constraints and functionality propagate to each lower platform instance
    • It is bottom-up because both the characteristics and performance of the lower levels must be exported to the upper platform

Application Instance

Platform Specification

API Platform

Architecture

Platform

Platform Design-Space Exploration

Architecture Instance

Architecture Space

architecture platform
Architecture Platform
  • In this approach, the architecture platform should support architectures that are “mainly geared towards optimizing design-time.”
  • This implies an approach based on a family of similar micro-architectures, i.e. programmable architectures, that can be extended or reduced for a range of different applications.
  • There is a trade-off between flexibility of the architecture platform and design-time.
    • Fewer constraints on the platform provide better support for applications & optimization, but constrained architectures have fewer parameters and are easier to assemble & verify.
software api platform
Software (API) Platform
  • Software development is now 80% of the design of embedded systems
    • The re-use of application software is a must
  • The goal of the API platform is to present an abstracted interface to any proposed instance of the architecture platform.
  • The API platform is a software interface that wraps:
    • The processor & memory via an RTOS
    • Device drivers and I/O
    • The communication network
other platform stacks
Other Platform Stacks

Architecture Platform

Silicon Implementation Platform Stack

Silicon Implementation Platform

Manufacturing Interface Platform Stack

Manufacturing Interface Platform

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Platform-based design minimizes design time and cost by breaking the design process into manageable parts
    • The exploration space for each step is small
  • Due to the restricted design space, this approach may not produce the highest-performing designs
  • The validity of this approach depends on the ability to accurately abstract and estimate final performance at each level
    • Poor estimates and abstractions early-on can be magnified at the later stages
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