Hardware Synchronization for Embedded Multi-Core Processors

Christian Stoif, Martin Schoeberl, Benito Liccardi, Jan Haase

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    Multi-core processors are about to conquer embedded systems — it is not the question of whether they are coming but how the architectures of the microcontrollers should look with respect to the strict requirements in the field. We present the step from one to multiple cores in this paper, establishing coherence and consistency for different types of shared memory by hardware means. Also support for point-to-point synchronization between the processor cores is realized implementing different hardware barriers. The practical examinations focus on the logical first step from single- to dual-core systems, using an FPGA-development board with two hard PowerPC processor cores. Best- and worst-case results, together with intensive benchmarking of all synchronization primitives implemented, show the expected superiority of the hardware solutions. It is also shown that dual-ported memory outperforms single-ported memory if the multiple cores use inherent parallelism by locking shared memory more intelligently using an address-sensitive method.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS 2011)
    Publication date2011
    ISBN (Print)9781424494736
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event2011 IEEE International Symposium of Circuits and Systems - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Duration: 15 May 201118 May 2011


    Conference2011 IEEE International Symposium of Circuits and Systems
    CityRio de Janeiro
    Internet address


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