Run-time system for an extensible embedded processor with dynamic instruction set

Lars Bauer, Muhammad Shafique, Stephanie Kreutz, Jörg Henkel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


One of the upcoming challenges in embedded processing is to incorporate an increasing amount of adaptivity in order to respond to the multifarious constraints induced by today's embedded systems that feature complex and diverse application behaviors. We present a novel concept (evaluated with a hardware prototype) that moves traditional design-time jobs to run time in order to increase efficiency (in this paper we focus on performance). Adaptivity is achieved dynamically through what we call Special Instructions (SIs) which may change during run time according to non-predictable application behavior. The new contribution of this paper is the principal component that actually makes the entire embedded processor work efficiently, namely the "Special Instruction Scheduler". It determines during run time 'when' and 'how' Special Instructions are composed and executed. We achieve a 2.38x performance increase over a reconfigurable processor system with dynamic instruction set (Molen [19]). Our whole platform consists of a toolchain including estimation and simulation tools plus a running hardware prototype. Throughout this paper, we discuss the functionality by means of an H.264 video encoder in detail even though the concept is not limited to this application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2008
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2008
EventDesign, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2008 - Munich, Germany
Duration: Mar 10 2008Mar 14 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings -Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE
ISSN (Print)1530-1591


OtherDesign, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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