Analysis and optimization of a deeply pipelined FPGA soft processor

Hui Yan Cheah, Suhaib A. Fahmy, Nachiket Kapre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

FPGA soft processors have been shown to achieve high frequency when designed around the specific capabilities of heterogenous resources on modern FPGAs. However, such performance comes at a cost of deep pipelines, which can result in a larger number of idle cycles when executing programs with long dependency chains in the instruction sequence. We perform a full design-space exploration of a DSP block based soft processor to examine the effect of pipeline depth on frequency, area, and program runtime, noting the significant number of NOPs required to resolve dependencies. We then explore the potential of a restricted data forwarding approach in improving runtime by significantly reducing NOP padding. The result is a processor that runs close to the fabric limit of 500MHz with a case for simple data forwarding.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology, FPT 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages235-238
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781479962457
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 2015
Externally publishedYes

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