Manual Partitioning Tool

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General overview

Manual Partitioning Tool, MEd (Manual EDitor) consists of two highly integrated tools

  • VHDL Parser, the tool responsible for VHDL parsing
  • GUI-based representation of the VHDL project in tree-like view, supporting drag & drop, which allows the user to specify parts of the VHDL code for dynamic and static final parts

How it works?

The MEd tool allows the user to undertake the manual partitioning in the following manner:

  • The user loads the set of VHDL files, initially static.
  • The user decides which parts of the code will become dynamic – they will be assigned to Dynamic Modules.
  • A number of constraints describing D_Modules behavior is attached to the design by the user. Therefore, this tool enables to describe all the functionality from the dynamic reconfiguration point of view.

The graphic user interface of the tool presents as follows:

med_big

Description

  • The tool permits the user to enter several VHDL files corresponding to a static description of the design
  • Once the files are parsed they are represented graphically so that it is possible to observe the overall hierarchy of the design.
  • The tool allows for the definition of different dynamic modules (D_Modules) in an output window
  • Once the D_Modules are defined the user may assign part of the static functionality to them just by dragging and dropping objects belonging to the static description into the D_Modules previously defined
  • The user may then set, edit and check constraints for every dynamic module:
    • Conditions for loading / unloading d_modules: Time based (Clock cycle), Frame based (periodic), Signal event based (asynchronous)
    • Exclusive constraints between d_modules
    • Interface between application and configuration controller (status)
    • Bitstream organization in the storage memory
  • These constraints should specify the conditions for loading/unloading functionality into the D_FPGA
  • A file in DCF format containing the constraints set by the user is also generated
  • Generation of the interfaces between dynamic and static parts
  • Output contains source files for the d_modules, interfaces, static parts and DCF file
  • It is possible for the user to save the project and than continue it later starting from the last saved action – the project file has the *.prj extension and may be read only by MEd application
  • Undo/redo support – every action that the user undertakes may be undone by mean of menu function. Than it may be back redone
  • Every action in the application has the corresponding opposite action, so that the tool is “bidirectional” – the user may design a project and than, in case of his mistake, go back and correct it

More information

Please head to MIXDES’2005 talk.

Disclaimer

The tool was part of the Reconf 2 Work package 4 (WP4) research.

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