This thesis deals with modeling aspects of multi-processor system-on-chip (MpSoC) design affected by the on-chip interconnect, also called the Network-on-Chip (NoC), at various levels of abstraction. To begin with, we undertook a comprehensive survey of research and design practices of networked MpSoC. The survey presents the challenges of modeling and performance analysis of the hardware and the software components used in such devices. These challenges are further exasperated in a mixed abstraction workspace, which is typical of complex MpSoC design environment.
We provide two simulation-based frameworks: namely ARTS and RIPE, that
allows to model hardware (computation time, power consumption, network latency, caching effect, etc.) and software (application partition and mapping, operating system scheduling, interrupt handling, etc.) aspects from system-level to cycle-true abstraction. Thereby, we can realistically model the application executing on the architecture. This includes e.g. accurate modeling of synchronization, cache refills, context switching effects, so on, which are critically dependent on the architecture and the performance of the NoC. The foundation of the ARTS model is abstract tasks, while the foundation of the RIPE model is cycle-count. For ARTS, using different case-studies with over one hundred tasks (five applications) from the mobile multimedia domain, we show the potential of the framework under real-time constraints. For RIPE, first using six applications we derive the requirements to model the application and the architecture properties independent of the NoC, and then use these applications to successfully validate the approach against a reference cycle-true system.
The presence of a standard socket at the intellectual property (IP) and the NoC interface in both the ARTS and the RIPE frameworks allows easy incorporation of IP cores from either frameworks, into a new instance of the design. This could pave the way for seamless design evaluation from system-level to cycletrue abstraction in future component-based MpSoC design practice.