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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Power estimation for field programmable gate arrays Poon, Kara Ka Wing

Abstract

Power dissipation is becoming a major concern for semiconductor vendors and customers. Compared to ASICs and other custom chips, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have long routing tracks with significant parasitic capacitance, and dissipate a significant amount of power at high frequencies. Previous work has presented point solutions, which are applicable only to particular architectures [24] [36] [65]. Other work has proposed numerous CAD algorithms that focus primarily on reducing switching activity to achieve low power [29] [44] [57] [61] [68]. To thoroughly investigate the power consumption within FPGAs, there is a need for a universal power model capable of estimating power for a wide variety of programmable logic architectures. This thesis describes a power model that estimates the dynamic, short circuit, and leakage power for a wide variety of FPGA architectures. This power model has been integrated into the Versatile Place and Route (VPR) CAD tool, widely used software for FPGA architectural studies. This thesis also investigates the impact of various architectural parameters on the power-efficiency of FPGAs.

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