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Education and Innovation in Embedded Systems Design

USI Università della Svizzera italiana, USI Faculty of Informatics, Advanced Learning and Research Institute USI Università della Svizzera italiana USI Faculty of Informatics USI Advanced Learning and Research Institute

Heterogeneous Multicore Architectures

Professor Benini Luca
Course program MSc
Year 2
Semester Fall
Category Elective
Academic year 2017/2018


The course focuses on Heterogeneous Multicore architectures, with the goal of giving an in-depth understanding of application requirements, architectural templates, hardware-software solutions and design tradeoffs. Several case studies on state-of-the-art solutions from various application domains will be covered.


  1. The power wall in computing: motivation and trends
  2. Power, Energy Performance - measuring and understanding key quality metrics.,
  3. Multicore-systems on chip - basic concepts
  • Network-on-chip
  • On-chip Memory hierarchy
  • Off-chip interfaces (main memory and IO - 2D and 3D)
  1. Homogeneous architectures
  • From multi-core to many-core
  • Case studies
  1. Heterogeneous architectures
  • Architectural templates
  • Comparative analysis
  • Case studies
  1. Power management of multicore architectures
  • Fundamental Concepts
  • Managing Idleness - sleep states
  • Managing performance - variable frequency and voltage
  • Case studies
  1. Outlook
  • Sub-pj/op computing
  • Non-Von Neumann Architectures

Teaching mode

The course is based on lectures


Technical papers and reference manuals related to case studies provided by the Professor.