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Dissertation Defense

Rapid SoC Design: On Architectures, Methodologies and Frameworks

Tutu Ajayi

With the end of Dennard’s scaling and a slowdown in Moore’s Law, system architects have developed several techniques to deliver on the traditional performance and power improvements we have come to expect. The various techniques adopted to combat the slowing of Moore’s Law directly translates to an increase in complexity for modern system-on-chips (SoCs). This increase in complexity in turn leads to an increase in design effort and validation time for hardware and the accompanying software stacks.

This dissertation presents several techniques to address the challenges of rapidly birthing complex SoCs. The first part of this dissertation focuses on foundations and architectures that aid in rapid SoC design. It presents a variety of architectural techniques that were developed and leveraged to rapidly construct complex SoCs at advanced process nodes. The next part of the dissertation focuses on the gap between a completed design model (in RTL form) and its physical manifestation (a GDS file that will be sent to the foundry for fabrication). It presents methodologies and a workflow for rapidly walking a design through to completion at arbitrary technology nodes. It also presents progress on creating tools and a flow that is entirely dependent on open-source tools. The last part presents a framework that not only speeds up the integration of a hardware accelerator into an SoC ecosystem but emphasizes software adoption and usability.

Chair: Assistant Professor Ronald Dreslinski Jr.