[Book] Design of Low-Power Coarse-Grained Reconfiurable Architectures

Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architecture
With the growing demand for high quality multimedia, esp ecially over portable media, there has b e en continuous development on more sophisticated algorithms for audio, video, and graphics pro cessing. These algorithms have the characteristics of data-intensive computation of high complexity. For such applications, we can c ons ider two extreme approaches to implementation: software running on a general purp ose pro cessor and hardware in the form of Application-Sp ecific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). In the case of general purp ose processor, it is flexible enough to supp ort various applications but may not provide sufficient p erformance to cop e with the complexity of the applications.
In the case of ASIC, we can optimize b est in terms of p ower and p erformance but only for a sp ecific application. With a coarse-grained reconfigurable architecture (CGRA), we can take advantage of the ab ove two approaches. This architecture has higher p erformance level than general purpose processor and wider applicability than ASIC. As the market pressure of emb edded systems comp els the designer to meet tighter constraints on cost, p erform anc e, and p ower, the application sp ecific optimization of a system b ecomes inevitable. On the other hand, the flexibility of a syste m is also imp ortant to accommo date rapidly changing consumer needs. To compromise these incompatible demands, domain-sp ecific design is focused on as a suitable solution for recent e mb edde d systems. Coarse-grained reconfigurable architecture is the very domain-sp ecific des ign in that it can boost the performance by adopting sp ecific hardware engines while it can b e reconfigured to adapt to ever-changing characteristics of the applications.



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