E. Sotiriou-Xanthopoulos, L. Masing, K. Siozios, G. Economakos, D. Soudris, J. Becker, "An OpenCL-based Framework for Rapid Virtual Prototyping of Heterogeneous Architectures", Virtual Prototyping of Parallel and Embedded Systems (VIPES), July 2016, Samos, Greece.
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The increasing performance and power requirements in embedded systems has lead to a variety of heterogeneous hardware architectures, featuring many different types of processing elements. This heterogeneity however induces extra effort on system development and programming. To address this heterogeneity, OpenCL provides a portable programming model which enables the use of one source code in various architectures featuring different types of processors. Also, such systems impose higher design complexity due to the existence of an increased number of hardware components. Virtual Prototyping aims to alleviate this issue by enabling the hardware modeling in higher abstraction levels. This paper combines the benefits of OpenCL with Virtual Prototyping, by proposing an OpenCLbased framework for rapid prototyping, which (a) automatically derives a virtual prototype from an OpenCL code; (b) executes the OpenCL application by running the host program along with the hardware simulation; and (c) proposes a design flow for faster system evaluation, as compared to state-of-the-art FPGA-based flow. Using a set of OpenCL benchmarks, it is shown that the proposed framework enables faster prototyping by up to 18x, as compared to state-of-the-art flow.

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