Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Engineering

First Advisor

Wei Zhang

Abstract

As time predictability is critical to hard real-time systems, it is not only necessary to accurately estimate the worst-case execution time (WCET) of the real-time tasks but also desirable to improve either the WCET of the tasks or time predictability of the system, because the real-time tasks with lower WCETs are easy to schedule and more likely to meat their deadlines. As a real-time system is an integration of software and hardware, the optimization can be achieved through two ways: software optimization and time-predictable architectural support. In terms of software optimization, we fi rst propose a loop-based instruction prefetching approach to further improve the WCET comparing with simple prefetching techniques such as Next-N-Line prefetching which can enhance both the average-case performance and the worst-case performance. Our prefetching approach can exploit the program controlow information to intelligently prefetch instructions that are most likely needed. Second, as inter-thread interferences in shared caches can signi cantly a ect the WCET of real-time tasks running on multicore processors, we study three multicore-aware code positioning methods to reduce the inter-core L2 cache interferences between co-running real-time threads. One strategy focuses on decreasing the longest WCET among the co-running threads, and two other methods aim at achieving fairness in terms of the amount or percentage of WCET reduction among co-running threads. In the aspect of time-predictable architectural support, we introduce the concept of architectural time predictability (ATP) to separate timing uncertainty concerns caused by hardware from software, which greatly facilitates the advancement of time-predictable processor design. We also propose a metric called Architectural Time-predictability Factor (ATF) to measure architectural time predictability quantitatively. Furthermore, while cache memories can generally improve average-case performance, they are harmful to time predictability and thus are not desirable for hard real-time and safety-critical systems. In contrast, Scratch-Pad Memories (SPMs) are time predictable, but they may lead to inferior performance. Guided by ATF, we propose and evaluate a variety of hybrid on-chip memory architectures to combine both caches and SPMs intelligently to achieve good time predictability and high performance. Detailed implementation and experimental results discussion are presented in this dissertation.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2012

Available for download on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Included in

Engineering Commons

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