On How to Improve FPGA-Based Systems Design Productivity via SDAccel

2016 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW)(2016)

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Custom hardware accelerators are widely used to improve the performance of software applications in terms of execution times and to reduce energy consumption. However the realization of an hardware accelerator and its integration in the final system is a difficult and error prone task. For this reason, both Industry and Academy are continuously developing Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools to assist the designer in the development process. Even if many of the steps have been nowadays automated, system integration and SW/HW interfaces definition and drivers generation are still almost completely manual tasks. The last tool released by Xilinx, however, aims at improving the hardware design experience by leveraging the OpenCL standard to enhance the overall productivity and to enable code portability. This paper provides an overview of the SDAccel potentiality comparing its design flow with other methodologies using two case studies from the Bioinformatics field: brain network and protein folding analysis.
code portability,OpenCL standard,Xilinx,drivers generation,SW/HW interfaces,system integration,CAD tools,computer aided design,energy consumption,software applications,custom hardware accelerators,SDAccel,FPGA-based systems design productivity
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