Section: New Software and Platforms


Infrastructure for the Design of Fixed-point systems

Keywords: Energy efficiency - Dynamic range evaluation - Accuracy optimization - Fixed-point arithmetic - Analytic Evaluation - Embedded systems - Code optimisation

Scientific Description: The different techniques proposed by the team for fixed-point conversion are implemented in the ID.Fix infrastructure. The application is described with a C code using floating-point data types and different pragmas, used to specify parameters (dynamic, input/output word-length, delay operations) for the fixed-point conversion. This tool determines and optimizes the fixed-point specification and then, generates a C code using fixed-point data types (ac_fixed) from Mentor Graphics. The infrastructure is made of two main modules corresponding to the fixed-point conversion (ID.Fix-Conv) and the accuracy evaluation (ID.Fix-Eval).

Functional Description: ID.Fix focuses on computational precision accuracy and can provide an optimized specification using fixed-point arithmetic from a C source code with floating-point data types. Fixed point arithmetic is very widely used in embedded systems as it provides better performance and is much more energy-efficient. ID.Fix constructs an analytic accuracy model of the program, which means it can explore more solutions and thereby produce a much more efficient code.