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An automated exploration framework for FPGA-based soft multiprocessor systems

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4 Author(s)
Kurt Keutzer ; University of California at Berkeley, CA ; Kaushik Ravindran ; Nadathur Satish ; Yujia Jin

FPGA-based soft multiprocessors are viable system solutions for high performance applications. They provide a software abstraction to enable quick implementations on the FPGA. The multiprocessor can be customized for a target application to achieve high performance. Modern FPGAs provide the capacity to build a variety of micro-architectures composed of 20-50 processors, complex memory hierarchies, heterogeneous interconnection schemes and custom co-processors for performance critical operations. However, the diversity in the architectural design space makes it difficult to realize the performance potential of these systems. In this paper we develop an exploration framework to build efficient FPGA multiprocessors for a target application. Our main contribution is a tool based on Integer Linear Programming to explore micro-architectures and allocate application tasks to maximize throughput. Using this tool, we implement a soft multiprocessor for IPv4 packet forwarding that achieves a throughput of 2 Gbps, surpassing the performance of a carefully tuned hand design.

Published in:

2005 Third IEEE/ACM/IFIP International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis (CODES+ISSS'05)

Date of Conference:

Sept. 2005