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FPGA
2011
ACM

Comparing FPGA vs. custom cmos and the impact on processor microarchitecture

8 years 1 months ago
Comparing FPGA vs. custom cmos and the impact on processor microarchitecture
As soft processors are increasingly used in diverse applications, there is a need to evolve their microarchitectures in a way that suits the FPGA implementation substrate. This paper compares the delay and area of a comprehensive set of processor building block circuits when implemented on custom CMOS and FPGA substrates. We then use the results of these comparisons to infer how the microarchitecture of soft processors on FPGAs should be different from hard processors on custom CMOS. We find that the ratios of the area required by an FPGA to that of custom CMOS for different building blocks varies significantly more than the speed ratios. As area is often a key design constraint in FPGA circuits, area ratios have the most impact on microarchitecture choices. Complete processor cores have area ratios of 17-27× and delay ratios of 18-26×. Building blocks that have dedicated hardware support on FPGAs such as SRAMs, adders, and multipliers are particularly area-efficient (2-7× area...
Henry Wong, Vaughn Betz, Jonathan Rose
Added 28 Aug 2011
Updated 28 Aug 2011
Type Journal
Year 2011
Where FPGA
Authors Henry Wong, Vaughn Betz, Jonathan Rose
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