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For modern FPGA, implementation of memory intensive processing applications such as high end image and video processing systems necessitates manual design of complex multilevel memory hierarchies incorporating off-chip DDR and on-chip BRAM and LUT RAM. In fact, automated synthesis of multi-level memory hierarchies is an open problem facing high level synthesis technologies for FPGA devices. In this paper we describe the first automated solution to this problem. By exploiting a novel dataflow application modelling dialect, known as Valved Dataflow, we show for the first time how, not only can such architectures be automatically derived, but also that the resulting implementations support real-time processing for current image processing application standards such as H.264. We demonstrate the viability of this approach by reporting the performance and cost of hierarchies automatically generated for Motion Estimation, Matrix Multiplication and Sobel Edge Detection applications on Virtex-5 FPGA.
Date of Conference: 25-30 March 2012