Date of Graduation

1-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Advisor

Miaoqing Huang

Committee Member

David Andrews

Second Committee Member

Wing Ning Li

Third Committee Member

Zhong Chen

Keywords

FPGA, Hardware Abstraction, Hardware Acceleration, Hardware Multitasking, MPSoC, OpenCL

Abstract

With the help of the parallelism provided by the fine-grained architecture, hardware accelerators on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) can significantly improve the performance of many applications. However, designers are required to have excellent hardware programming skills and unique optimization techniques to explore the potential of FPGA resources fully. Intermediate frameworks above hardware circuits are proposed to improve either performance or productivity by leveraging parallel programming models beyond the multi-core era.

In this work, we propose the PolyPC (Polymorphic Parallel Computing) framework, which targets enhancing productivity without losing performance. It helps designers develop parallelized applications and implement them on FPGAs. The PolyPC framework implements a custom hardware platform, on which programs written in an OpenCL-like programming model can launch. Additionally, the PolyPC framework extends vendor-provided tools to provide a complete development environment including intermediate software framework, and automatic system builders. Designers' programs can be either synthesized as hardware processing elements (PEs) or compiled to executable files running on software PEs. Benefiting from nontrivial features of re-loadable PEs, and independent group-level schedulers, the multitasking is enabled for both software and hardware PEs to improve the efficiency of utilizing hardware resources.

The PolyPC framework is evaluated regarding performance, area efficiency, and multitasking. The results show a maximum 66 times speedup over a dual-core ARM processor and 1043 times speedup over a high-performance MicroBlaze with 125 times of area efficiency. It delivers a significant improvement in response time to high-priority tasks with the priority-aware scheduling. Overheads of multitasking are evaluated to analyze trade-offs. With the help of the design flow, the OpenCL application programs are converted into executables through the front-end source-to-source transformation and back-end synthesis/compilation to run on PEs, and the framework is generated from users' specifications.

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