Modern society relies on convenience services and mobile communication. Cloud computing is the current trend to make data and applications available at any time on every device. Data centers concentrate computation and storage at central locations, while they claim themselves green due to their optimized maintenance and increased energy efﬁciency. The key enabler for this evolution is the microelectronics industry. The trend to power efﬁcient mobile devices has forced this industry to change its design dogma to: ”keep data locally and reduce data communication whenever possible”. Therefore we ask: is cloud computing repeating the aberrations of its enabling industry?
Hardware prototyping is an essential part in the hardware design flow. Furthermore, hardware prototyping usually relies on system-level design and hardware-in-the-loop simulations in order to develop, test and evaluate intellectual property cores. One common task in this process consist on interfacing cores with different port specifications. Data width conversion is used to overcome this issue. This work presents two open source hardware cores compliant with AXI4-Stream bus protocol, where each core performs upsizing/downsizing data width conversion.
This work shall provide a foundation for the cross-design of wireless networked control systems with limited resources. A cross-design methodology is devised, which includes principles for the modeling, analysis, design, and realization of low cost but high performance and intelligent wireless networked control systems. To this end, a framework is developed in which control algorithms and communication protocols are jointly designed, implemented, and optimized taking into consideration the limited communication, computing, memory, and energy resources of the low performance, low power, and low cost wireless nodes used. A special focus of the proposed methodology is on the prediction and minimization of the total energy consumption of the wireless network (i.e. maximization of the lifetime of wireless nodes) under control performance constraints (e.g. stability and robustness) in dynamic environments with uncertainty in resource availability, through the joint (offline/online) adaptation of communication protocol parameters and control algorithm parameters according to the traffic and channel conditions. Appropriate optimization approaches that exploit the structure of the optimization problems to be solved (e.g. linearity, affinity, convexity) and which are based on Linear Matrix Inequalities (LMIs), Dynamic Programming (DP), and Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are investigated. The proposed cross-design approach is evaluated on a testbed consisting of a real lab plant equipped with wireless nodes. Obtained results show the advantages of the proposed cross-design approach compared to standard approaches which are less flexible.
Chisel (Constructing Hardware in a Scala embedded language) is a new programming language, which embedded in Scala, used for hardware synthesis. It aims to increase productivity when creating hardware by enabling designers to use features present in higher level programming languages to build complex hardware blocks. In this paper, the most advertised features of Chisel are investigated and compared to their VHDL counterparts, if present. Afterwards, the authors’ opinion if a switch to Chisel is worth considering is presented. Additionally, results from a related case study on Chisel are briefly summarized. The author concludes that, while Chisel has promising features, it is not yet ready for use in the industry.
This paper presents a case study comparing the hardware description language „Constructing Hardware in a Scala Embedded Language“(Chisel) to VHDL. For a thorough comparison the Heston Model was implemented, a stochastic model used in financial mathematics to calculate option prices. Metrics like hardware utilization and maximum clock rate were extracted from both resulting designs and compared to each other. The results showed a 30% reduction in code size compared to VHDL, while the resulting circuits had about the same hardware utilization. Using Chisel however proofed to be difficult because of a few features that were not available for this case study.
The work presented in this thesis discusses the thermal and power management of multi-core processors (MCPs) with both two dimensional (2D) package and there dimensional (3D) package chips. The power and thermal management/balancing is of increasing concern and is a technological challenge to the MCP development and will be a main performance bottleneck for the development of MCPs. This thesis develops optimal thermal and power management policies for MCPs. The system thermal behavior for both 2D package and 3D package chips is analyzed and mathematical models are developed. Thereafter, the optimal thermal and power management methods are introduced.
Nowadays, the chips are generally packed in 2D technique, which means that there is only one layer of dies in the chip. The chip thermal behavior can be described by a 3D heat conduction partial differential equation (PDE). As the target is to balance the thermal behavior and power consumption among the cores, a group of one dimensional (1D) PDEs, which is derived from the developed 3D PDE heat conduction equation, is proposed to describe the thermal behavior of each core. Therefore, the thermal behavior of the MCP is described by a group of 1D PDEs. An optimal controller is designed to manage the power consumption and balance the temperature among the cores based on the proposed 1D model.
3D package is an advanced package technology, which contains at least 2 layers of dies stacked in one chip. Different from 2D package, the cooling system should be installed among the layers to reduce the internal temperature of the chip. In this thesis, the micro-channel liquid cooling system is considered, and the heat transfer character of the micro-channel is analyzed and modeled as an ordinary differential equation (ODE). The dies are discretized to blocks based on the chip layout with each block modeled as a thermal resistance and capacitance (R-C) circuit. Thereafter, the micro-channels are discretized. The thermal behavior of the whole system is modeled as an ODE system. The micro-channel liquid velocity is set according to the workload and the temperature of the dies. Under each velocity, the system can be described as a linear ODE model system and the whole system is a switched linear system. An H-infinity observer is designed to estimate the states. The model predictive control (MPC) method is employed to design the thermal and power management/balancing controller for each submodel.
The models and controllers developed in this thesis are verified by simulation experiments via MATLAB. The IBM cell 8 cores processor and water micro-channel cooling system developed by IBM Research in collaboration with EPFL and ETHZ are employed as the experiment objects.