The desire for greater processor performance with shrinking technologies and increasing heterogeneity, leads to a need for improvement in performance estimation. Being able to estimate the performance of an application without needing to implement the application on the available hardware and soft-core choices can decrease development time and help expedite the process of choosing which platform would be the best choice to use for development.

This thesis work focuses on using a graph-based description of an application to estimate performance. By using a graph-based approach, the need for a hardware specific implementation is eliminated and the design space is simplified. Breaking down an application into a graph allows a new approach review to be taken as nodes of the graph can be assigned to levels in the pipelined architecture. This research uses pipelined customized Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) processors as the platform choice. The customized ISA soft-core processors allow the user more control over the resources used in the processor and provides a viable hardware/software choice to demonstrate the capabilities of the graph-based approach.

The testcase applications used were the Dot Product, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) application, and the AES with TBox application. The results of this work show that performance can be accurately estimated on a customized processor using a graph-based approach for the application with accuracy ranging from approximately 75% to 89%.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

MIPS-X (Microprocessor)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


Sonia Lopez Alarcon

Advisor/Committee Member

Marcin Lukowiak

Advisor/Committee Member

Andres Kwasinski


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes