Argonne National Laboratory

Autotuning FPGA Design Parameters for Performance and Power

TitleAutotuning FPGA Design Parameters for Performance and Power
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMametjanov, A, Balaprakash, P, Choudary, C, Hovland, PD, Wild, SM, Sabin, G
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5266-1214
AbstractMany factors affect the performance and power characteristics of FPGA designs. Among them are the optimization parameters for synthesis, map, and place-and-route design tools. Choosing the right combination of these parameters can substantially lower power requirements, while still satisfying timing constraints. Finding such an improvement, however, requires significant experimentation by the FPGA designer. Exhaustive search through the parameter space is an automated alternative to experimentation but is intractable because of the large search space and the long build time of each parameter combination. In this paper, we propose a machine- learning-based approach to tune FPGA design parameters. It performs sampling-based reduction of the parameter space and guides the search toward promising parameter configurations. In our experiments, such selective sampling finds parameter configurations that meet the timing constraints and are within 0.2% of the optimal power consumption. Furthermore, these configurations are found in an order of magnitude less time compared with exhaustive search. Such speedups can substantially alleviate bottlenecks in the FPGA design process.