Resource Elastic Virtualization for FPGAs using OpenCL

Anuj Vaishnav, Khoa Dang Pham, Dirk Koch, James Garside
School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
28th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL), 2018


   title={Resource Elastic Virtualization for FPGAs using OpenCL},

   author={Vaishnav, Anuj and Pham, Khoa Dang and Koch, Dirk and Garside, James},

   booktitle={28th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL)},



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FPGAs are rising in popularity for acceleration in all kinds of systems. However, even in cloud environments, FPGA devices are typically still used exclusively by one application only. To overcome this, and as an approach to manage FPGA resources with OS functionality, this paper introduces the concept of resource elastic virtualization which allows shrinking and growing of accelerators in the spatial domain with the help of partial reconfiguration. With this, we can serve multiple applications simultaneously on the same FPGA and optimize the resource utilization and consequently the overall system performance. We demonstrate how an implementation of resource elasticity can be realized for OpenCL accelerators along with how it can achieve 2.3x better FPGA utilization and 49% better performance on average while simultaneously lowering waiting time for tasks.
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