Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 74, Issue 20, pp 9055–9066 | Cite as

Design of configurable I/O pin control block for improving reusability in multimedia SoC platforms

  • Myoung-Seo Kim
  • Cheong Ghil Kim
  • Shin-Dug Kim
  • Jean-Luc Gaudiot


Multimedia system-on-a-chip (SoC) platform designs nowadays are facing some conflicting issues regarding product development. One is induced by increasing design complexity and another is induced by decreasing time-to-market. Hence, designers are seeking a more efficient and reliable methodology in order to design complex multi-million gate SoC under such harsh conditions. In particular, the complexity of a generic pin control block in multimedia SoC which implements input/output (I/O) paths for off-chip communication has increased exponentially in recent years. Accordingly, the possibility of introducing human errors in designing such block has grown. Operation of generic-pin control block needs to be validated with a top-level RTL from the early stages of design, which correctly checks full-chip interface. However, generic-pin control block has inherent several design issues since function registers and multi-I/O paths are usually fixed in the relatively late stages of design. Also, the role of a generic pin control block that shares limited pins causes frequent changes in pin assignment. Therefore, current design approaches of a generic pin control block are no longer adequate to meet the challenges of design productivity, design reusability, and shorter time-to-market for design. And, this results in many possible human errors when using a traditional RTL description. As a response to this problem, this paper presents a design automation based approach to reduce the possibility of human errors. In the case study presented, we succeeded in auto-generating a generic pin control block in multimedia SoC platforms which has more than 300 general purpose I/O interfaces including both input and output, as well as 900 PAD pins. Ultimately, we reduced the amount of manual description for generating a generic pin control block by a whopping 97 %.


Generic pin control block Design automation Multimedia system-on-a-chip 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myoung-Seo Kim
    • 1
  • Cheong Ghil Kim
    • 2
  • Shin-Dug Kim
    • 3
  • Jean-Luc Gaudiot
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EECS, The Henry Samueli School of EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceNamseoul UniversityCheonanSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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