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Most commercial and academic floating point libraries for FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) provide only a small fraction of all possible floating point units. In contrast, the floating point unit generation approach outlined in this paper allows for the creation of a vast collection of floating point units with differing throughput, latency, and area characteristics. Given performance requirements, our generation tool automatically chooses the proper implementation algorithm and architecture to create a compliant floating point unit. Our approach is fully integrated into standard C++ using ASC, a stream compiler for FPGAs, and the PAM-Blox II module generation environment. The floating point units created by our approach exhibit a factor of two latency improvement versus commercial FPGA floating point units, while consuming only half of the FPGA logic area.
Date of Conference: 9-11 April 2003