Permanent URI for this collection
1 - 5 of 1369
(2006)Conference PaperModules that are swapped dynamically at run-time on an FPGA have varying communication needs over time. In order to support this, we aim to generate a wiring infrastructure that caters for the dynamically-changing module interfaces. This, however, imposes a regular structure for laying out modules on a device, which may result in longer inter-module wiring paths as compared to traditional methods where the netlists are flattened. This paper studies placing modules within a structured layout to compare resulting circuit speeds with those obtained by traditional methods. Our results indicate that the difference in critical path delay is high at very low utilisation, but that the overhead is absorbed as the number of modules and interconnection density increases to realistic levels. The authors conclude that implementing such a wiring infrastructure has manageable overheads while having the added advantage of being amenable to dynamic reconfiguration.
(2006)Conference PaperOn-going improvements in the scaling of FPGA device sizes and time-to-market pressures encourage the use of module-oriented design flows , while economic factors favour the reuse of smaller devices for high performance computational tasks. One of the core problems in proposing dynamic modular reconfiguration approaches is supporting the differing communications needs of the sequence of modules configured over time . Proposals to date have not focussed on communications issues. Moreover, they have advocated the use of specific protocols , or they cannot be readily implemented , or they suffer from high overheads , or rely upon deprecated features such as tri-state lines . In contrast, we propose a methodology for the rapid deployment of a communications infrastructure that provides the wires required by dynamic modules and allows users to implement the protocols they want. Our aim is to support new tiled dynamically reconfigurable architectures such as Virtex-4, as well as mature device families.
(2006)Conference PaperIn line with Shannon's ideas, we define the entropy of FPGA reconfiguration to be the amount of information needed to configure a given circuit onto a given device. We propose using entropy as a gauge of the maximum configuration compression that can be achieved and determine the entropy of a set of 24 benchmark circuits for the Virtex device family. We demonstrate that simple off-the-shelf compression techniques such as Golomb encoding and hierarchical vector compression achieve compression results that are within 1-10% of the theoretical bound. We present an enhanced configuration memory system based on the hierarchical vector compression technique that accelerates reconfiguration in proportion to the amount of compression achieved. The proposed system demands little additional chip area and can be clocked at the same rate as the Virtex configuration clock.
(2006)Conference PaperBypass delays are expected to grow beyond 1ns as technology scales. These delays necessitate pipelining of bypass paths at processor frequencies above 1GHz and thus affect the performance of sequential code sequences. We propose dealing with these delays through a dynamic functional unit chaining approach. We study the performance benefits of a superscalar, out-of-order processor augmented with a two-by-two array of ALUs interconnected by a fast, partial bypass network. An online profiler guides the automatic configuration of the network to accelerate specific patterns of dependent instructions. A detailed study of benchmark simulations demonstrates these first steps towards mapping binaries to a small coarse-grained array at runtime can improve instruction throughput by over 18% and 25% when the microarchitecure includes bypass delays of one cycle and two cycles, respectively.