6

Managing Bandwidth

Computation Is Cheap, Bandwidth Is Everything

RCS Lab Mantra

Perhaps the most fundamental issue in building an FPGA computing system is managing the flow of data through the system. The computational resources in Platform FPGAs are enormous and, as we have seen in the previous chapter, specific algorithms often have plentiful parallelism, especially if there is a computation that is specialized and relatively small. In this case it is very easy to instantiate a large number of those function units on a single chip. However, without considering the rates at which various function units consume and produce data, it is very likely that any potential performance gains may be lost because the function units are idle, waiting to ...

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