The Hierarchical Timing Pair Model for Synchronous Dataflow Systems

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2000-11-16

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We consider the problem of representing timing information associated with functions in a dataflow graph. This information is used for behavioral synthesis of appropriate architectures for implementing the graph. Conventional models for timing suffer from shortcomings that make it difficult to easily represent timing information in a hierarchical manner, especially for multirate systems. We identify some of these shortcomings, and provide an alternate timing model for hardware implementations that does not have these problems. This model is capable of providing a unified view of hierarchical combinational and sequential circuits under the assumptions of high-level scheduling. The resulting compact representation of the timing information can be used to streamline system performance analysis. We show that with some reasonable assumptions on the way hardware implementations of multirate systems operate, we can derive general hierarchical descriptions of multirate systems in a similar manner to single sample-rate systems. Several analytical results that previously applied only to single sample-rate systems can also easily be extended to multirate systems under the new assumptions. We have applied our model to several signal processing applications, and obtained favorable results. We present an algorithm to compute the timing parameters, and have used this to compute timing parameters for a number of benchmarks circuits. We present the results obtained on several ISCAS benchmark circuits and also several multirate dataflow graphs corresponding to useful signal processing applications. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-2000-75)

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