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The Multi-Dataflow Composer Tool: an open-source tool suite for Optimized Coarse-Grain Reconfigurable Hardware Accelerators and Platform Design

by   Carlo Sau, et al.

Modern embedded and cyber-physical systems require every day more performance, power efficiency and flexibility, to execute several profiles and functionalities targeting the ever growing adaptivity needs and preserving execution efficiency. Such requirements pushed designers towards the adoption of heterogeneous and reconfigurable substrates, which development and management is not that straightforward. Despite acceleration and flexibility are desirable in many domains, the barrier of hardware deployment and operation is still there since specific advanced expertise and skills are needed. Related challenges are effectively tackled by leveraging on automation strategies that in some cases, as in the proposed work, exploit model-based approaches. This paper is focused on the Multi-Dataflow Composer (MDC) tool, that intends to solve issues related to design, optimization and operation of coarse-grain reconfigurable hardware accelerators and their easy adoption in modern heterogeneous substrates. MDC latest features and improvements are introduced in detail and have been assessed on the so far unexplored robotics application field. A multi-profile trajectory generator for a robotic arm is implemented over a Xilinx FPGA board to show in which cases coarse-grain reconfiguration can be applied and which can be the parameters and trade-offs MDC will allow users to play with.


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