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Title: Optimising and evaluating designs for reconfigurable hardware
Author: Becker, Tobias
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 6315
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Growing demand for computational performance, and the rising cost for chip design and manufacturing make reconfigurable hardware increasingly attractive for digital system implementation. Reconfigurable hardware, such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), can deliver performance through parallelism while also providing flexibility to enable application builders to reconfigure them. However, reconfigurable systems, particularly those involving run-time reconfiguration, are often developed in an ad-hoc manner. Such an approach usually results in low designer productivity and can lead to inefficient designs. This thesis covers three main achievements that address this situation. The first achievement is a model that captures design parameters of reconfigurable hardware and performance parameters of a given application domain. This model supports optimisations for several design metrics such as performance, area, and power consumption. The second achievement is a technique that enhances the relocatability of bitstreams for reconfigurable devices, taking into account heterogeneous resources. This method increases the flexibility of modules represented by these bitstreams while reducing configuration storage size and design compilation time. The third achievement is a technique to characterise the power consumption of FPGAs in different activity modes. This technique includes the evaluation of standby power and dedicated low-power modes, which are crucial in meeting the requirements for battery-based mobile devices.
Supervisor: Luk, Wayne ; Cheung, Peter Sponsor: Xilinx ; Nokia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral