Native simulation of MPSoC : instrumentation and modeling of non-functional aspects

Abstract : Modern embedded systems are endowed with a high level of parallelism and significantprocessing capabilities as they integrate hundreds of cores on a single chip communicatingthrough network on chip. The complexity of these systems and their dedicated softwareshould not be an excuse for long design cycles, even though the design space is enormousand the underlying design decisions are critical. Thus, design space exploration, hard-ware/software co-verification and performance estimation need to be conducted within areasonable amount of time and early enough in the design process to avoid any tardy de-tection of functional or performance deficiencies.Co-simulation platforms are becoming an increasingly important part in design and ver-ification steps. With instruction interpretation-based software simulation platforms beingtoo slow as they model low-level details of the target system, an alternative software sim-ulation approach known as native simulation or host-compiled simulation has gained mo-mentum this past decade. Native simulation consists of compiling the embedded softwareto the host binary format and executing it directly on the host machine. However, this tech-nique fails to reflect the performance of the embedded software and its actual interactionwith the target hardware. So, the speedup gained by native simulation comes at a price,which is the absence of non-functional information (such as time and energy) needed for es-timating the performance of the entire system and ensuring its proper functioning. Withoutsuch information, native simulation approaches are limited to functional validation.Yielding accurate estimates entails the integration of high-level abstract models thatmimic the behavior of target-specific micro-architectural components in the simulation plat-form and the accurate placement of the obtained non-functional information in the high-level code. Back-annotating non-functional information at the right place requires a map-ping between the binary instructions and the high-level code statements, which can be chal-lenging particularly when compiler optimizations are enabled.In this thesis, we propose an annotation framework working at the compiler interme-diate representation level to accurately annotate performance metrics extracted from thebinary code, thanks to a dedicated mapping algorithm. This mapping algorithm is furtherenhanced to deal with aggressive compiler optimizations, such as loop unrolling, that radi-cally alter the structure of the code. Our target architecture being a VLIW processor, we alsomodel at a high level its instruction buffer to faithfully reproduce its timing behavior.The experiments we conducted to validate our mapping algorithm and component mod-els yielded accurate results and high simulation speed compared to a cycle accurate ISS ofthe target platform.
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Oumaima Matoussi. Native simulation of MPSoC : instrumentation and modeling of non-functional aspects. Modeling and Simulation. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAM075⟩. ⟨tel-01874680⟩

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