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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reliable high-throughput FPGA interconnect using source-synchronous surfing and wave pipelining Teehan, Paul Leonard


FPGA clock frequencies are slow enough that only a fraction of the interconnect’s bandwidth is used. By exploiting this bandwidth, the transfer of large amounts of data can be greatly accelerated. Alternatively, it may also be possible to save area on fixed-bandwidth links by using on-chip serial signaling. For datapath-intensive designs which operate on words instead of bits, this can reduce wiring congestion as well. This thesis proposes relatively simple circuit-level modifications to FPGA interconnect to enable high-bandwidth communication. High-level area estimates indicate a potential interconnect area savings of 10 to 60% when serial links are used. Two interconnect pipelining techniques, wave pipelining and surfing, are adapted to FPGAs and compared against each other and against regular FPGA interconnect in terms of throughput, reliability, area, power, and latency. Source-synchronous signaling is used to achieve high data rates with simple receiver design. Statistical models for high-frequency power supply noise are developed and used to estimate the probability of error of wave pipelined and surfing links as a function of link length and operating speed. Surfing is generally found to be more reliable and less sensitive to noise than wave pipelining. Simulation results in a 65nm process demonstrate a throughput of 3Gbps per wire across a 50-stage, 25mm link.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International