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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A system-level synthetic circuit generator for FPGA architectural analysis Mark, Cindy


Architectural research for Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) tends to use an experimental approach. The benchmark circuits are used not only to compare different architectures, but also to ensure that the FPGA is sufficiently flexible to implement the desired variety of circuits. The most common benchmark circuits used for architectural research are circuits from the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC). These circuits are small; they occupy less than 3% [5] of the largest available commercial FPGA. Moreover, these circuits are more representative of the glue logic circuits that were targets of early devices. This contrasts with the trend towards implementing Systems on Chip (SoCs) on FPGAs where several functional modules are integrated into a single circuit which is mapped onto one device. In this thesis, we develop a synthetic system-level circuit generator that connects pre-existing circuits in a realistic manner to build large netlists that share the characteristics of real SoC circuits. This generator is based on a survey of contemporary circuit designs from industrial and academic sources. We demonstrate that these system-level circuits scale well and that their post-routing characteristics match the results of large pre-existing benchmarks better than the results of circuits from previous synthetic generators.

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