Scratchpad allocation for concurrent embedded software

Abstract

Software-controlled scratchpad memory is increasingly employed in embedded systems as it offers better timing predictability compared to caches. Previous scratchpad allocation algorithms typically consider single process applications. But embedded applications are mostly multi-tasking with real-time constraints, where the scratchpad memory space has to be shared among interacting processes that may preempt each other. In this paper, we develop a novel dynamic scratchpad allocation technique that takes these process interferences into account to improve the performance and predictability of the memory system. We model the application as a Message Sequence Chart (MSC) to best capture the interprocess interactions. Our goal is to optimize the worst-case response time (WCRT) of the application through runtime reloading of the scratchpad memory content at appropriate execution points. We propose an iterative allocation algorithm that consists of two critical steps: (1) analyze the MSC along with the existing allocation to determine potential interference patterns, and (2) exploit this interference information to tune the scratchpad reloading points and content so as to best improve the WCRT. We evaluate our memory allocation scheme on a real-world embedded application controlling an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

DOI: 10.1145/1450135.1450145

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Cite this paper

@article{Suhendra2008ScratchpadAF, title={Scratchpad allocation for concurrent embedded software}, author={Vivy Suhendra and Abhik Roychoudhury and Tulika Mitra}, journal={ACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst.}, year={2008}, volume={32}, pages={13:1-13:47} }