Modeling and Analysis of Bus Contention for Hardware Accelerators in FPGA SoCs

Francesco Restuccia, Marco Pagani, Alessandro Biondi, Mauro Marinoni, Giorgio Buttazzo,

FPGA System-on-Chips (SoCs) are heterogeneous platforms that combine general-purpose processors with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) fabric. The FPGA fabric is composed of a programmable logic in which hardware accelerators can be deployed to accelerate the execution of specific functionality. The main source of unpredictability when bounding the execution times of hardware accelerators pertains the access to the shared memories via the on-chip bus. This work is focused on bounding the worst-case bus contention experienced by the hardware accelerators deployed in the FPGA fabric. To this end, this work considers the AMBA AXI bus, which is the de-facto standard communication interface used in most the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) FPGA SoCs, and presents an analysis technique to bound the response times of hardware accelerators implemented on such platforms. A fine-grained modeling of the AXI bus and AXI interconnects is first provided. Then, contention delays are studied under hierarchical bus infrastructures with arbitrary depths. Experimental results are finally presented to validate the proposed model with execution traces on two modern FPGA-based SoC produced by Xilinx (Zynq-7000 and Zynq-Ultrascale+ families) and to assess the performance of the proposed analysis.

The paper will be presented in the session
Hardware I Busses in FPGAs and Cache coherence – Thursday, July 9, 14:30 – 15:10 (CET) and 15:50 – 16:50 (CET)


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