AI Engine Development

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Performance and Deadlock Analysis


This tutorial introduces you to performance analysis and optimization methods, and shows you how synchronization works in graph execution. It also demonstrates the analysis of a hang issue using an example.

Before You Begin

IMPORTANT: First, set up the Vitis™ unified software platform and install the VCK190 base platform. Follow the instructions in the Vitis Software Platform Release Notes and Installation Guide.

Before you begin this tutorial, run the following steps:

  1. Set up your platform by running the xilinx-versal-common-v2021.1/environment-setup-cortexa72-cortexa53-xilinx-linux script as provided in the platform download. This script sets up the SYSROOT and CXX variables. If the script is not present, you must run the xilinx-versal-common-v2021.1/

  2. Set up your ROOTFS to point to the xilinx-versal-common-v2021.1/rootfs.ext4

  3. Set up your IMAGE to point to xilinx-versal-common-v2021.1/Image.

  4. Set up your PLATFORM_REPO_PATHS environment variable based upon where you downloaded the platform.


After completing this tutorial, you will understand how to:

  • Read lock signals in Vitis Analyzer.

  • Profile design performance.

  • Identify a performance bottleneck.

  • Analyze a deadlock (hang issue) in the design.


Step 1: Learn about the execution model of an AI Engine graph, including how memory with lock and FIFO works. Learn performance measurement methods. Identify performance bottlenecks and practise optimization. Go to AI Engine Graph Execution and Measurement.

Step 2: Learn about how a deadlock might occur with an example design. Learn how to analyze a deadlock in the AI Engine simulator, hardware emulation, and hardware flows. Go to AI Engine Deadlock Analysis.

Tip: In this tutorial, the designs are self-contained in each step. You can choose to start at any step depending on your experience and requirements. Be aware that the concepts and options introduced in the previous step might not be repeated later. It is recommended to start from the beginning and progress through to completion.

Revision History

  • July 2021: Initial release.


GitHub issues will be used for tracking requests and bugs. For questions go to

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