Analytical Model of Memory-Bound Applications Compiled with High Level Synthesis

by   Maria A. Dávila-Guzmán, et al.

The increasing demand of dedicated accelerators to improve energy efficiency and performance has highlighted FPGAs as a promising option to deliver both. However, programming FPGAs in hardware description languages requires long time and effort to achieve optimal results, which discourages many programmers from adopting this technology. High Level Synthesis tools improve the accessibility to FPGAs, but the optimization process is still time expensive due to the large compilation time, between minutes and days, required to generate a single bitstream. Whereas placing and routing take most of this time, the RTL pipeline and memory organization are known in seconds. This early information about the organization of the upcoming bitstream is enough to provide an accurate and fast performance model. This paper presents a performance analytical model for HLS designs focused on memory bound applications. With a careful analysis of the generated memory architecture and DRAM organization, the model predicts the execution time with a maximum error of 9.2 previous works, our predictions reduce on average at least 2× the estimation error.



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