Hierarchical library based power estimator for versatile FPGAs

TitleHierarchical library based power estimator for versatile FPGAs
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsH Liang, W Zhang, S Sinha, YC Chen, and H Li
Conference Name25th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications, Fpl 2015
Date Published10/2015

FPGA is a promising hardware accelerator in modern high-performance computing systems. In such a system, power is a key factor in the design requiring thermal and energy-saving considerations. Modern power estimators for FPGA either support specific hardware provided by FPGA vendors or contain power models for certain types of conventional FPGA architectures. However, with technology advancement, novel versatile FPGA architectures are introduced to further augment current FPGA architecture, such as emerging FPGA with non-volatile memory, nano-wire interconnection of reconfigurable array, etc. To evaluate the power consumption of various FPGA designs, the power estimator has to be made more flexible and extensible to support new devices and architectures. We introduce a novel power estimator with hierarchical library supporting power models at different levels, e.g. novel circuits of components, emerging memory devices, time-multiplexing architecture etc. The power estimator also supports coarse-grain or fine-grain power estimation defined by users for achieving complexity-accuracy trade-off. Simulation results of benchmarks on the proposed power estimator against commercial estimators demonstrate accuracy of our tool. The proposed tool demonstrates flexibility to estimate power for both existing FPGA architectures and new architectures.