OpenRCL: Low-Power High-Performance Computing with Reconfigurable Devices

Mingjie Lin, Ilia Lebedev, John Wawrzynek
International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications, Vol. 0 (2010), pp. 458-463


   title={OpenRCL: Low-Power High-Performance Computing with Reconfigurable Devices},

   author={Lin, M. and Lebedev, I. and Wawrzynek, J.}


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This work presents the Open Reconfigurable Computing Language (OpenRCL) system designed to enable low-power high-performance reconfigurable computing with imperative programming language such as C/C++. The key idea is to expose the FPGA platform as a compiler target for applications expressed in the OpenCL paradigm. To this end, we present a combination of low-level virtual machine instruction set, execution model, many-core architecture, and associated compiler to achieve high performance and power efficiency by exploiting the FPGA’s distributed memories and abundant hardware structures (such as DSP blocks, long carry-chains, and registers). Our resulting OpenRCL system not only allows programmers to easily express parallelism through the API defined in the OpenCL standard but also supports coarse-grain multithreading and dataflow-style fine-grain threading while permitting bit-level resource control. An OpenRCL prototype machine with 30 processing nodes was implemented using a Virtex-5 (XCV5LX155T-2) FPGA. For the well-known Parallel Prefix Sum (Scan) problem, comparing the runtime of the same problem on a GeForce 9400m using the OpenCL SDK from Apple Inc., the OpenRCL machine demonstrates comparable performance with a 5x reduction in core power consumption.
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