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FPGA-based logic emulator with large gate capacity generally comprises a large number of FPGAs connected in mesh or crossbar topology. However, gate utilization of FPGAs and speed of emulation are limited by the number of signal pins among FPGAs and the interconnection architecture of the logic emulator. The time-multiplexing of interconnection wires is required for multiFPGA system incorporating several state-of-the-art FPGAs. We propose a circuit partitioning algorithm called SCATOMi(scheduling driven algorithm for TOMi) for multiFPGA system incorporating four to eight FPGAs where FPGAs are interconnected through TOMi(time-multiplexed, off-chip, multicasting interconnection). SCATOMi improves the performance of TOMi architecture by limiting the number of inter-FPGA signal transfers on the critical path and considering the scheduling of inter-FPGA signal transfers. The performance of the partitioning result of SCATOMi is 5.5 times faster than traditional partitioning algorithms. Experiments on architecture comparison show that, by adopting the proposed TOMi interconnection architecture along with SCATOMi, the pin count is reduced to 15.2%-81.3% while the critical path delay is reduced to 46.1%-67.6% compared to traditional architectures including mesh, crossbar and VirtualWire architecture.
Date of Conference: 13-15 Oct. 2003