Section: Research Program


The development of complex applications is traditionally split in three stages: a theoretical study of the algorithms, an analysis of the target architecture and the implementation. When facing new emerging applications such as high-performance, low-power and low-cost mobile communication systems or smart sensor-based systems, it is mandatory to strengthen the design flow by a joint study of both algorithmic and architectural issues (Often referenced as algorithm-architecture mapping or interaction.).

Figure 1. Cairn 's general design flow and related research themes

Figure 1 shows the global design flow we propose to develop. This flow is organized in levels which refer to our three research themes: application optimization (new algorithms, fixed-point arithmetic and advanced representations of numbers), architecture optimization (reconfigurable and specialized hardware, application-specific processors), and stepwise refinement and code generation (code transformations, hardware synthesis, compilation).

In the rest of this part, we briefly describe the challenges concerning new reconfigurable platforms in Section 3.2 and the issues on compiler and synthesis tools related to these platforms in Section 3.3 .