doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0409

Online Binding of Applications to Multiple Clock Domains in Shared FPGA-based Systems

Farzad Samie, Lars Bauer, Chih-Ming Hsieh and Jörg Henkel

Chair for Embedded Systems (CES), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany


Modern FPGA-based platforms provide multiple clock domains and their frequencies can be changed at runtime by using PLLs and clock multiplexers. This is especially beneficial for platforms that run several applications simultaneously (e.g. modern wireless sensor nodes that are shared by multiple users), as different processing modules may be fed by different clock frequencies at different time windows. However, since the number of clock domains on a platform is limited, several processing modules need to share the same clock domain.
In this paper, we study the problem of binding multiple applications to multiple clock domains, such that the latest finishing time of any application (i.e. the makespan) is minimized. We present an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) formulation and then propose a novel algorithm that (i) quickly identifies those applications that are dominated by others (and thus can be ignored without losing optimality) and that (ii) uses the ascending property of the optimal binding to reduce the search space. The experimental results show up to 17% makespan reduction compared to state-of-theart. The overhead when executing on a low-power SmartFusion2 SoC equipped with an ARM Cortex-M3 core is on average 8.9 ms, i.e. our algorithm is suitable for runtime decisions.

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