Finite Resource Reconfigurable Hardware/Software Codesign: Case Studies

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Dr. Sin Ming Loo


Reducing both cost and time-to-market while increasing performance, resource utilization, and reliability is not an easy or simple goal. Traditionally, hardware and software design were carried out separately with little or no communication between design groups. The software designers were given the hardware specification written in stone and any issues that came up had to be solved using software even if it was to the detriment of performance, function, or both. A better approach is traditional hardware/software codesign where hardware and software are developed concurrently. Traditional hardware/software codesign fabricates the hardware on an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which limits the flexibility of the design. This thesis shows the addition of reconfigurable hardware to the hardware/software codesign paradigm allows the hardware to stay as flexible as the software and any last minute design changes can be implemented in hardware with minimal design costs. Since a field programmable gate array (FPGA) has limited resources, one of the design challenges turns into a resource utilization problem. In this thesis four case studies will be analyzed using a Reconfigurable System Design Model (RSDM) tool to show that reconfigurable hardware can be used to implement a complete system. It is worth noting that for all four cases, they can not be implemented in hardware or software due to resource constraints. The tool has successfully found solutions for the four cases using a combination of hardware and software.

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