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

Stencil Accelerators

Participants : Steven Derrien [University of Rennes 1, Inria/CAIRN] , Xinyu Niu [Imperial College London] , Sanjay Rajopadhye [Colorado State University] , Tomofumi Yuki.

Stencil computations have been known to be an important class of programs for scientific calculations. Recently, various architectures (mostly targeting FPGAs) for stencils are being proposed as hardware accelerators with high throughput and/or high energy efficiency. There are many different challenges for such design: How to maximize compute-I/O ratio? How to partition the problem so that the data fits on the on-chip memory? How to efficiently pipeline? How to control the area usage? We seek to address these challenges by combining techniques from compilers and high-level synthesis tools.

One project in collaboration with the CAIRN team and Colorado State University targets stencils with regular dependence patterns. Although many architectures have been proposed for this type of stencils, most of them use a large number of small processing elements (PE) to achieve high throughput. We are exploring an alternative design that aims for a single, large, deeply-pipelined PE. The hypothesis is that the pipelined parallelism is more area-efficient compared to replicating small PEs. We have published a work-in-progress paper on this topic at IMPACT'16 [5] .

Another type of stencil accelerators that we are working on, in collaboration with Xinyu Niu, targets stencil programs with dynamic dependences (i.e., sparse computations). The collaboration is in the context of the EURECA project ( ) where the dynamic reconfigurability of modern FPGAs are used to efficiently handle dynamic access patterns.