salle A. Turing CE4
3 April 2014 - 10h00
PRET DRAM controller: bank privatization for predictability and temporal isolation
by Jan Reineke from Universität des Saarlandes
Abstract: Hard real-time embedded systems employ high-capacity memories such as Dynamic RAMs (DRAMs) to cope with increasing data and code sizes of modern designs. However, memory controller design has so far largely focused on improving average-case performance. As a consequence, the latency of memory accesses is unpredictable, which complicates the worst-case execution time analysis necessary for hard real-time embedded systems.
Our work introduces a novel DRAM controller design that is predictable and that significantly reduces worst-case access latencies. Instead of viewing the DRAM device as one resource that can only be shared as a whole, our approach views it as multiple resources that can be shared between one or more clients individually. We partition the physical address space following the internal structure of the DRAM device, i.e., its ranks and banks, and interleave accesses to the blocks of this partition. This eliminates contention for shared resources within the device, making accesses temporally predictable and temporally isolated. This paper describes our DRAM controller design and its integration with a precision-timed (PRET) architecture called PTARM. We present analytical bounds on the latency and throughput of the proposed controller, and confirm these via simulation.