High-Quality Data Assignment to Hierarchical Memory Organizations for Multidimensional Signal Processing

Florin Balasa1,  Ilie I. Luican2,  Doru V. Nasui3
1American University in Cairo, Egypt, 2Microsoft Inc., USA, 3American International Radio Inc., USA


In real-time data-dominated communication and multimedia processing applications, data transfer and storage significantly influence, if not dominate, all the major cost parameters of the design space – namely power consumption, performance, and chip area. Multilayer memory hierarchies are used to reduce the energy consumption, but also to enhance the system performance. The energy-aware optimization of a hierarchical memory architecture implies the addition of layers of smaller and faster memories used to store the intensely-used data, in order to better exploit the non-uniform memory accesses. This paper presents an electronic design automation (EDA) methodology for energy-efficient signal assignment to the memory layers of a hierarchical storage organization. This approach starts from the behavioral specification of a given application and, employing algebraic techniques specific to the data-dependence analysis used in modern compilers, identifies those parts of (multidimensional) arrays intensely accessed. Tested on a two-layer memory hierarchy, this EDA methodology led to savings of storage energy consumption from 40% to over 60% relative to the energy used in the case of flat memory designs.