Open Access

Prerouted FPGA Cores for Rapid System Construction in a Dynamic Reconfigurable System

EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems20072007:041867

DOI: 10.1155/2007/41867

Received: 28 April 2006

Accepted: 18 October 2006

Published: 11 January 2007

Abstract

A method of constructing prerouted FPGA cores, which lays the foundations for a rapid system construction framework for dynamically reconfigurable computing systems, is presented. Two major challenges are considered: how to manage the wires crossing a core's borders; and how to maintain an acceptable level of flexibility for system construction with only a minimum of overhead. In order to maintain FPGA computing performance, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze the issues at the lowest level of device detail in order to ensure that computing circuit encapsulation is as efficient as possible. We present the first methodology that allows a core to scale its interface bandwidth to the maximum available in a routing channel. Cores can be constructed independently from the rest of the system using a framework that is independent of the method used to place and route primitive components within the core. We use an abstract FPGA model and CAD tools that mirror those used in industry. An academic design flow has been modified to include a wire policy and an interface constraints framework that tightly constrains the use of the wires that cross a core's boundaries. Using this tool set we investigate the effect of prerouting on overall system optimality. Abutting cores are instantly connected by colocation of interface wires. Eliminating run-time routing drastically reduces the time taken to construct a system using a set of cores.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Centre for High Performance Embedded Systems (CHiPES), School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technology University

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Copyright

© T. F. Oliver and D. L. Maskell. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.