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Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 484962, 11 pages
Research Article

Hardware and Software Synthesis of Heterogeneous Systems from Dataflow Programs

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Received 15 July 2011; Revised 27 October 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Deming Chen

Copyright © 2012 Ghislain Roquier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The new generation of multicore processors and reconfigurable hardware platforms provides a dramatic increase of the available parallelism and processing capabilities. However, one obstacle for exploiting all the promises of such platforms is deeply rooted in sequential thinking. The sequential programming model does not naturally expose potential parallelism that effectively permits to build parallel applications that can be efficiently mapped on different kind of platforms. A shift of paradigm is necessary at all levels of application development to yield portable and scalable implementations on the widest range of heterogeneous platforms. This paper presents a design flow for the hardware and software synthesis of heterogeneous systems allowing to automatically generate hardware and software components as well as appropriate interfaces, from a unique high-level description of the application, based on the dataflow paradigm, running onto heterogeneous architectures composed by reconfigurable hardware units and multicore processors. Experimental results based on the implementation of several video coding algorithms onto heterogeneous platforms are also provided to show the effectiveness of the approach both in terms of portability and scalability.