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Mohamed Abdelfattah , University of Toronto, Toronto
Vaughn Betz , University of Toronto, Toronto
FPGAs are becoming more powerful computing devices as a result of increased logic capacity, inclusion of embedded processors and I/O controllers, and the rise of high-level programming-language-to-hardware compilers. However, it is still challenging to accelerate computing applications on FPGAs, partly due to the need for low-level hardware design of a system-level interconnect to integrate the application components. We propose augmenting the FPGA architecture with an embedded NoC to implement the system-level communication infrastructure and mitigate the hardware design challenges faced by current bus-based interconnects. With a flexible interface between the NoC and the FPGA fabric, an embedded NoC maintains the configurability of the FPGA, and also simplifies distributing I/O data throughout the chip. When compared against custom buses configured into the fabric by commercial system integration tools, embedded NoCs are always more energy-efficient, and for most systems they save area as well.
Mohamed Abdelfattah, Vaughn Betz, "The Case for Embedded Networks-on-Chip on FPGAs", IEEE Micro, , no. 1, pp. 1, PrePrints PrePrints, doi:10.1109/MM.2013.131
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