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Pin assignment for multi-FPGA systems

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2 Author(s)
Hauck, S. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Sci., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL, USA ; Borriello, G.

Multi-FPGA systems have tremendous potential, providing a high-performance computing substrate for many different applications. One of the keys to achieving this potential is a complete, automatic mapping solution that creates high-quality mappings in the shortest possible time. In this paper, we consider one step in this process, the assignment of inter-FPGA signals to specific I/O pins on the FPGAs in a multi-FPGA system. We show that this problem can neither be handled by pin assignment methods developed for other applications nor standard routing algorithms. Although current mapping systems ignore this issue, we show that an intelligent pin assignment method can achieve both quality and mapping speed improvements over random approaches. Intelligent pin assignment methods already exist for multi-FPGA systems, but are restricted to topologies where logic-bearing FPGAs cannot be directly connected. In this paper, we provide three new algorithms for the pin assignment of multi-FPGA systems with arbitrary topologies. We compare these approaches on several mappings to current multi-FPGA systems, and show that the force-directed approach produces better mappings, in significantly shorter time, than any of the other approaches

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 9 )