Case Study—Improving Chip Architectures with Specialized Talent

Submitted by BDTI on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 17:00

In an ideal world, chip designers would evaluate their new designs on real applications. But who’s got the time to implement an entire cellular baseband or video codec just to see if their proposed design is efficient? That’s the reason chip designers use benchmarks. But benchmarking is not just about selecting the right algorithms. It’s also about careful implementation—careful crafting of software that is appropriately optimized for the target architecture. As a result, sound benchmarking is a time-consuming activity. That’s why many chip companies come to BDTI; not only for BDTI’s benchmarks, but often to have their own—or their customers’—benchmarks implemented by BDTI’s expert engineering staff.

Of course, since benchmarking is a critical and demanding part of the design process, many chip companies have staff dedicated to it. But while in-house staff understands its own architectures inside and out, it may not have extensive knowledge at the algorithm level or wide-ranging experience with a variety of coding styles. BDTI’s staff does—and more. Since benchmarking has been a focus of BDTI’s business for 15 years, BDTI’s staff has the solid understanding of algorithms, applications, and optimization techniques required for reliable benchmarking.

Numerous companies have reaped the benefits of outsourcing their benchmarking work to BDTI. In one engagement, BDTI helped a leading semiconductor manufacturer evaluate its design for a new processor targeting video surveillance applications. The customer provided BDTI with its own internal benchmarks and BDTI used them to evaluate the performance of the customer’s initial design, and to create apples-to-apples comparisons with competing chips. The chip company used these results to get an early reading on how its design would perform on its target application. By engaging BDTI for benchmarking, the company was able to reserve the use of its own precious engineering resources for critical product development work.

With fifteen years of experience developing and implementing benchmarks, BDTI has the skills and infrastructure to implement benchmarks quickly, with highest quality results. BDTI customers can be assured that benchmark results obtained by BDTI accurately reflect the capabilities of a device. Where appropriate, BDTI employs rigorous optimization, drawing on experience with many different types of architectures and programming tools. In addition to world-class coding skills, BDTI applies knowledge of algorithm-level optimizations to adapt benchmark implementations to make best use of architectural features to ensure realistic results.

Contact Jeremy Giddings at BDTI (giddings@BDTI.com) to discuss your benchmarking needs.

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