NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Oliver was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Embedded devices have hard performance targets and severe power and area constraints that depart significantly from our design intuitions derived from general-purpose microprocessor design. This paper describes our initial experiences in designing Synchroscalar, a tile-based embedded architecture targeted for multi-rate signal processing applications.
We present a preliminary design of the Synchroscalar architecture and some design space exploration in the context of important signal processing kernels. In particular, we find that synchronous design and substantial global interconnect are desirable in the low-frequency, low-power domain. This global interconnect enables parallelization and reduces processor idle time, which are critical to energy efficient implementations of high bandwidth signal processing. Furthermore, statically-scheduled communication and SIMD computation keep control overheads low and energy efficiency high.
Electrical and Computer Engineering