10 Advanced Model-Based FPGA Accelerator Design

10.1 Introduction

As described in Chapter 8, architectural synthesis of SFG models is a powerful approach to the design of high-throughput custom circuit accelerators for FPGA. This approach is one particular case of a wider trend toward design of high-performance embedded systems via the use of a model of computation (MoC), where a domain-specific modeling language is used to express the behavior or a system such that it is semantically precise, well suited to the application at hand and which emphasizes characteristics of its behavior such as timeliness (how the system deals with the concept of time), concurrency, liveness, heterogeneity, interfacing and reactivity in a manner that may be readily exploited for efficient implementation.

A plethora of MoCs have been proposed for modeling of different types of system (Lee and Sangiovanni-Vincentelli 1998), and determining the appropriate MoC for certain types of system should be based on the specific characteristics of that system. For instance, a general characterization of DSP systems could describe systems of repetitive intensive computation on streams of input data. Given this characterization, the dataflow MoC (Najjar et al. 1999) has been widely adopted and is a key enabling feature of a range of industry-leading design environments, such as National Instruments’ LabVIEW and Keysight Technologies’ SystemVUE.

This chapter addresses dataflow modeling and synthesis approaches ...

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