A scalable Low-power Architecture For Software Radio Scott Mahlke


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A Scalable Low-power Architecture For Software Radio

  • Scott Mahlke

  • Collaboration between:

  • University of Michigan, Arizona State University, and ARM Ltd.


Anatomy of a Cellular Phone



Software Defined Radio (SDR)

  • Use software routines instead of ASICs for the physical layer operations of wireless communication system



Advantages of SDR



Why is SDR Challenging?



The Anatomy of Wireless Protocols



W-CDMA Workload Profile



SDR Kernel Characteristics

  • 8 to 16-bit precision

  • Vector operations

    • long vectors
    • constant vector size
  • Static data movement patterns

  • Scalar operations



SODA System Architecture for 3G



SODA System Architecture for 3G



SODA PE Architecture



SODA PE SIMD Pipeline



SODA PE SIMD Pipeline



SODA PE SIMD Shuffle Network



SODA PE Scalar Pipeline



Power Consumption at 180nm

  • 180nm  ~ 3 W, 26.6 mm2

  • 90nm (est)  ~ 0.5 W, 6.7 mm2



SDR Compilation Strategy

  • Two level application description

    • System-level: Concurrent tasks extracted from “C + channels + attributes”
    • Kernel-level: Data parallelism extracted from “C + vectors + Matlab operators”
  • System compilation – Task level parallelism

  • Kernel compilation – Data level parallelism

    • Lower virtual DLP to physical implementation


Stylized Automatic Parallelization



Kernel Level Compilation



Final Thoughts

  • 2G and 3G SDR solutions are achievable in 90nm

  • Core technologies for future networks

  • Key insight: SDR requires innovation across algorithm, software and hardware

  • SDR platforms offer low-cost, longevity, and adaptability




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