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GPU-aware Component-based Development for Embedded Systems

Publication Type:

Licentiate Thesis


Mälardalen University Press


Nowadays, more and more embedded systems are equipped with e.g., various sensors that produce large amount of data. One of the challenges of traditional (CPU-based) embedded systems is to process this considerable amount of data such that it produces the appropriate performance level demanded by embed- ded applications. A solution comes from the usage of a specialized processing unit such as Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). A GPU can process large amount of data thanks to its parallel processing architecture, delivering an improved performance outcome compared to CPU. A characteristic of the GPU is that it cannot work alone; the CPU must trigger all its activities. Today, taking advantage of the latest technology breakthrough, we can benefit of the GPU technology in the context of embedded systems by using heterogeneous CPU-GPU embedded systems.Component-based development has demonstrated to be a promising method- ology in handling software complexity. Through component models, which describe the component specification and their interaction, the methodology has been successfully used in embedded system domain. The existing component models, designed to handle CPU-based embedded systems, face challenges in developing embedded systems with GPU capabilities. For example, current solutions realize the communication between components with GPU capabilities via the RAM system. This introduces an undesired overhead that negatively affects the system performance. This Licentiate presents methods and techniques that address the component-based development of embedded systems with GPU capabilities. More concretely, we provide means for component models to explicitly address the GPU-aware component-based development by using specific artifacts. For example, the overhead introduced by the traditional way of communicating via RAM is reduced by inserting automatically generated adapters that facilitate a direct component communication over the GPU memory.Another contribution of the thesis is a component allocation method over the system hardware. The proposed solution offers alternative options in optimizing the total system performance and balancing various system properties (e.g., memory usage, GPU load). For the validation part of our proposed solutions, we use an underwater robot demonstrator equipped with GPU hardware.


author = {Gabriel Campeanu},
title = {GPU-aware Component-based Development for Embedded Systems},
month = {November},
year = {2016},
publisher = {M{\"a}lardalen University Press},
url = {}