A Unified Backend for Targeting FPGAs from DSLs

Emanuele Del Sozzo, Riyadh Baghdadi, Saman Amarasinghe, Marco D. Santambrogio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The major flaw of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) is their hard programmability and steep learning curve. Even though High-Level Synthesis (HLS) tools may alleviate this task by providing directives to optimize the hardware design, as well as supporting languages like C/C++ and OpenCL, the development of efficient designs for FPGA is still a challenging and time-consuming task. In this context, Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) represent an emerging solution to generate efficient code to target FPGAs. However, the support for these languages towards FPGA is still limited, and only few DSLs provide FPGA backends. This paper describes FROST, a unified backend for targeting FPGAs from DSLs. FROST takes as input an algorithm described in one of the supported DSLs and generates an optimized design suitable for HLS tools. To this end, FROST exposes a high-level scheduling co-language to drive many aspects of the optimization process, like the resulting architecture, the level of parallelism, and so on. We evaluated FROST on a set of image processing kernels, developed in Halide and TIRAMISU, and compared the results against a hand-tuned FPGA library. The experimental results demonstrate that FROST designs are able to match the performance of such library (exploiting the same level of parallelism), and surpass it by a factor of 10X when combining FROST and the frontends scheduling commands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE 29th International Conference on Application-Specific Systems, Architectures and Processors, ASAP 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781538674796
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2018
Event29th IEEE International Conference on Application-Specific Systems, Architectures and Processors, ASAP 2018 - Milan, Italy
Duration: Jul 10 2018Jul 12 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Application-Specific Systems, Architectures and Processors
Volume2018-July
ISSN (Print)1063-6862

Conference

Conference29th IEEE International Conference on Application-Specific Systems, Architectures and Processors, ASAP 2018
CountryItaly
CityMilan
Period7/10/187/12/18

Keywords

  • Common Backend
  • DSL
  • FPGA
  • Scheduling Co-Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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