Lorenzo Di Tucci, Marco Rabozzi, Luca Stornaiuolo, Marco D Santambrogio
2017 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD)
In the context of heterogneous computing, even though GPUs are the components of election due to both their intrinsically parallel nature and their flexibility, FPGAs are being investigated and experimented due to superior power efficiency on selected workloads While GPUs are the heterogeneous components of election due to both their intrinsically parallel nature and their flexibility, FPGAs are being investigated and experimented due to superior power efficiency on selected workloads. However, the lack of adequate languages, runtimes, programming flexibility and, broadly speaking, proven system level approaches for FPGA-accelerated applications are the most relevant limiting factors to the adoption of these devices into mainstream. In these regards, Amazon recently released Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 F1, which are compute instances that are equipped with Xilinx FPGA boards. On such instances, the user can develop algorithms and run them on FPGAs thanks to the new software developed by Xilinx called SDAccel. In this paper, we describe how we extended the CAOS framework to integrate with SDAccel and target AWS F1 instances for improving the performance of a custom application by means of FPGA acceleration. We then propose a case study to test the new methodology, based on the N-Body Simulation problem. Results show that we were able to achieve performance comparable to the ones obtained by expert users in less than a day of work.