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Using global code motions to improve the quality of results for high-level synthesis

  • Author(s): Gupta, S;
  • Savoiu, N;
  • Dutt, N;
  • Gupta, R;
  • Nicolau, A
  • et al.

The quality of synthesis results for most, high-level synthesis approaches is strongly affected by the choice of control flow (through conditions and loops) in the input description. This leads to a need for high-level and compiler transformations that overcome the effects of programming style on the quality of generated circuits. To address this issue, we have developed a set of speculative code-motion transformations that enable movement of operations through, beyond, and into conditionals with the objective of maximizing performance. We have implemented these code transformations, along with supporting code-motion techniques and variable renaming techniques, in a high-level synthesis research framework called Spark. Spark takes a behavioral description in ANSI-C as input and generates synthesizable register-transfer level VHDL. We present results for experiments on designs derived from three real-life multimedia and image processing applications, namely, the MPEG-1 and -2 and GNU image manipulation program applications. We rind that the speculative-code motions lead to reductions between 36% and 59% in the number of states in the finite-state machine (controller complexity) and the cycles on the longest path (performance) compared with the case when only nonspeculative code motions are employed. Also, logic synthesis results show fairly constant critical path lengths (clock period) and a marginal increase in area.

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