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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A design representation model for high-level synthesis


Design tools share and exchange various types of information pertaining to the design. The identification of a uniform design representation to capture this information is essential for the development of a successful design environment. We have done an extensive study on the representation needs of existing database tools in the UCI CADLAB; examples of which are graph compilers for high-level hardware specifications, state schedulers, hardware allocators, and microarchitecture optimizers. The result of this study is the development of a design representation model that will serve as a common internal representation (DDM) for all system and behavioral synthesis tools. DDM thus builds the foundation for a CAD Framework in which design tools can communicate via operating on this common representation. The design information is composed of three separate graph models: the conceptual model, the behavioral model and the structural model. The conceptual model (represented by a Design Entity Graph) captures the overall organization of the design information, such as, versions and configurations. The behavioral model (represented by an Augmented Control/Data Flow Graph) describes the design behavior. The structural model (represented by an Annotated Component Graph) captures the hierarchical data path structure and its geometric information. In this paper, we define the last two graph models. They both capture the actual design data of the application domain. Since VHDL has gained increasing popularity as hardware description language for synthesis, we give numerous examples throughout this report that show how the proposed design representation model can be used to represent VHDL specifications.

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