FPGA-SPICE: A Simulation-Based Architecture Evaluation Framework for FPGAs

In this paper, we developed a simulation-based architecture evaluation framework for field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), called FPGA-SPICE, which enables automatic layout-level estimation and electrical simulations of FPGA architectures. FPGA-SPICE can automatically generate Verilog and SPICE netlists based on realistic FPGA configurations and a high-level eTtensible Markup Language-based FPGA architectural description language. The outputted Verilog netlists can be used to generate layouts of full FPGA fabrics through a semicustom design flow. SPICE simulation decks can be generated at three levels of complexity, namely, full-chip-level, grid-level, and component-level, providing different tradeoff between accuracy and simulation time. In order to enable such level of analysis, we presented two SPICE netlist partitioning techniques: loads extraction and parasitic net activity estimation. Electrical simulations showed that averaged over the selected benchmarks, the grid-/component-level approach can achieve 6.1x/7.5x execution speed-up with 9.9%/8.3% accuracy loss, respectively, compared to the full-chip level simulation. FPGA-SPICE was showcased through three different case studies: 1) an area breakdown analysis for static random access memory-based FPGAs, showing that configuration memories are a dominant factor; 2) a power breakdown comparison to analytical models, analyzing the source of accuracy loss; and 3) a robustness evaluation against process corners, studying their impact on energy consumption of full FPGA fabrics.

Publié dans:
IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, 1-14
Dec 14 2018
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 Notice créée le 2019-01-09, modifiée le 2019-05-07

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