Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Hardware and FPGA arithmetic

Reconfiguring arithmetic

With B. Pasca (Altera), F. de Dinechin contributed a book chapter about of the opportunities and challenges of computer arithmetic for reconfigurable/FPGA computing [32] . The main point of this chapter is to look beyond the heritage of processor arithmetic. Using many examples from the FloPoCo project and others, it shows the benefits of merging and fusing standard operators, it introduces an open-ended space of non-standard operators, and illustrates the power of machine-generation of such arithmetic cores.

The bit heap framework for fixed-point arithmetic

N. Brunie, F. de Dinechin, and M. Istoan, with students G. Sergent, K. Illyes, and B. Popa, extended FloPoCo with a versatile framework for manipulating sums of weighted bits [28] , [18] . Such bit heaps may be used to express and optimize at the bit level a wide range of operators (from adders and multipliers to polynomials, filters, and other coarse arithmetic cores). A single piece of code can then be used to generate an architecture for any of these operators.

Elementary functions

F. de Dinechin, with P. Echeverria and M. Lopez-Vallejo (U. Madrid) and B. Pasca (Altera), published a hardware architecture for the floating-point pow and powr functions of the IEEE-754-2008 standardĀ [3] . These functions compute xy, and differ only in the specification of special cases. The implementation, distributed in FloPoCo, is parameterized in exponent and significand size. It combines suitably modified exponential and logarithm units.

F. de Dinechin and M. Istoan, with student G. Sergent, compared several hardware algorithms for the implementation of sine, cosine, and combined sine/cosine [21] : unrolled CORDIC in two variants with several minor improvements, polynomial approximation, and an ad-hoc architecture based on trigonometric identities. A surprising result is that the ad-hoc architecture betters CORDIC even when its multipliers and tables are synthesized as logic.

Contributions to processor architecture

S. Collange (ALF team) and N. Brunie with G. Diamos (Nvidia) suggested improvements for the architecture of general-purpose graphical processing unitsĀ [11] . As threads take different paths across the control-flow graph, SIMD lockstep execution is partially lost, and must be regained whenever possible in order to maximize the occupancy of SIMD units. Two techniques are described to handle SIMT control divergence and identify reconvergence points. The most advanced one operates in constant space and handles indirect jumps and recursion. In terms of performance, this solution is at least as efficient as state-of-the-art techniques in use in current GPUs.

N. Brunie and F. de Dinechin studied with B. de Dinechin (Kalray) the integration of a tightly coupled reconfigurable accelerator in a massively parallel multiprocessor [27] . For this purpose, they described an architecture exploration framework that produces an architecture along with the relevant compilation software. This framework was demonstrated on AES, SHA2, and a FIR filter.