Application-Specific FPGA using heterogeneous logic blocks

Abstract : This work presents a new automatic mechanism to explore the solution space between Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). This new solution is termed as an Application-Specific Inflexible FPGA (ASIF) [Parvez et al. 2009]. An ASIF can be considered as an FPGA with reduced flexibility, or as a reconfigurable ASIC that can implement a set of application circuits which will operate at mutually exclusive times. Execution of different application circuits can be switched by loading their respective bitstream on an ASIF. An ASIF that is reduced from a heterogeneous FPGA is termed as a heterogeneous ASIF. It is shown that a standard-cell-based heterogeneous ASIF for a set of 10 opencore application circuits is 9.6 times smaller than a single-driver mesh-based heterogeneous FPGA. The area gap between ASIC and ASIF is not too significant; however, it can be reduced by designing repeatedly used components of ASIF in full-custom. Unlike an ASIC, an ASIF is a reprogrammable device that can be used to reprogram new or modified circuits at a limited scale.
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Husain Parvez, Zied Marrakchi, Alp Kilic, Habib Mehrez. Application-Specific FPGA using heterogeneous logic blocks. ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRETS), ACM, 2011, 4 (3), pp.1-24. ⟨10.1145/2000832.2000836⟩. ⟨hal-01197270⟩



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