Combining Processor Virtualization and Component-Based Engineering in C for Heterogeneous Many-Core Platforms

Abstract : Embedded system design is driven by strong efficiency constraints in terms of performance, silicon area and power consumption, as well as pressure on the cost and time-to-market. As of today, this forms three tough problems: 1) many-core systems are becoming mainstream, however there is still no decent approach for distributing software applications on those platforms; 2) these systems still integrate heterogeneous processors for efficiency reasons, thus programming them requires complex compilation environments; 3) hardware resources are precious and low-level languages are still a must to exploit them subtly. These factors have negative impact on the programmability of many-core platforms and limit our ability to address the challenges of the next decade. This paper devises a new programming approach leveraging processor virtualization and component-based software engineering technologies to address these issues all together. It presents a programming model based on C for developing fine grain component-based applications, and a toolset that compiles them into a processor-independent bytecode representation that can be deployed on heterogeneous platforms. We also discuss the effectiveness of this approach and present some ideas that might have a key role in addressing the above challenges.
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Erven Rohou, Andrea Carlo Ornstein, Ali Erdem Özcan, Marco Cornero. Combining Processor Virtualization and Component-Based Engineering in C for Heterogeneous Many-Core Platforms. [Research Report] PI 1933, 2009, pp.10. ⟨inria-00401773⟩

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