Programming heterogeneous multiprocessors
By Steve Preissig, Texas Instruments , Courtesy of DSP DesignLine
Aug 23 2006 (22:25 PM)
You may find that your best time to market, cost, and performance will come from a heterogeneous processor architecturethat is, a processor that includes both general-purpose processor (GPP) and digital signal processor (DSP) cores. Combining two or more processors into your design allows you to draw on the strengths of both, increasing your overall efficiency. Such a design, however, introduces new challenges to the software designer. How will you partition the system for optimal loading levels between the processors? How will you perform scheduling on independent processors to ensure dependent activities are executed in order and with the lowest latency? And how can you optimize inter-processor communications so that the computational benefits of a heterogeneous design are not lost to data-transfer overhead?
In this article, we will examine how to program a heterogeneous processor architecture based on the proven method of the Remote Procedure Call (RPC). We will examine how this method addresses the concerns listed above. We also explain how the RPC introduces some pitfalls, and show how they may be avoided.
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