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Combining Data Reuse With Data-Level Parallelization for FPGA-Targeted Hardware Compilation: A Geometric Programming Framework

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4 Author(s)
Qiang Liu ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Imperial Coll. London, London ; Constantinides, G.A. ; Masselos, K. ; Cheung, P.

A nonlinear optimization framework is proposed in this paper to automate exploration of the design space consisting of data-reuse (buffering) decisions and loop-level parallelization, in the context of field-programmable-gate-array-targeted hardware compilation. Buffering frequently accessed data in on-chip memories can reduce off-chip memory accesses and open avenues for parallelization. However, the exploitation of both data reuse and parallelization is limited by the memory resources available on-chip. As a result, considering these two problems separately, e.g., first exploring data reuse and then exploring data-level parallelization, based on the data-reuse options determined in the first step, may not yield the performance-optimal designs for limited on-chip memory resources. We consider both problems at the same time, exposing the dependence between the two. We show that this combined problem can be formulated as a nonlinear program and further show that efficient solution techniques exist for this problem, based on recent advances in optimization of so-called geometric programming problems. The results from applying this framework to several real benchmarks implemented on a Xilinx device demonstrate that given different constraints on on-chip memory utilization, the corresponding performance-optimal designs are automatically determined by the framework. We have also implemented designs determined by a two-stage optimization method that first explores data reuse and then explores parallelization on the same platform, and by comparison, the performance-optimal designs proposed by our framework are faster than the designs determined by the two-stage method by up to 5.7 times.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 3 )