, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 233-249
Date: 10 Nov 2012

The multi-dataflow composer tool: generation of on-the-fly reconfigurable platforms

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Dataflow specifications are suitable to describe both signal processing applications and the relative specialized hardware architectures, fostering the hardware–software development gap closure. They can be exploited for the development of automatic tools aimed at the integration of multiple applications on the same coarse-grained computational substrate. In this paper, the multi-dataflow composer (MDC) tool, a novel automatic platform builder exploiting dataflow specifications for the creation of run-time reconfigurable multi-application systems, is presented and evaluated. In order to prove the effectiveness of the adopted approach, a coprocessor for still image and video processing acceleration has been assembled and implemented on both FPGA and 90 nm ASIC technology. 60 % of savings for both area occupancy and power consumption can be achieved with the MDC generated coprocessor compared to an equivalent non-reconfigurable design, without performance losses. Thanks to the generality of high-level dataflow specification approach, this tool can be successfully applied in different application domains.