Extending High-Level Synthesis for Task-Parallel Programs

Yuze Chi, Licheng Guo, Young-kyu Choi, Jie Wang, Jason Cong
University of California, Los Angeles
arXiv:2009.11389 [cs.AR], (23 Sep 2020)


   title={Extending High-Level Synthesis for Task-Parallel Programs},

   author={Yuze Chi and Licheng Guo and Young-kyu Choi and Jie Wang and Jason Cong},






C/C++/OpenCL-based high-level synthesis (HLS) becomes more and more popular for field-programmable gate array (FPGA) accelerators in many application domains in recent years, thanks to its competitive quality of result (QoR) and short development cycle compared with the traditional register-transfer level (RTL) design approach. Yet, limited by the sequential C semantics, it remains challenging to adopt the same highly productive high-level programming approach in many other application domains, where coarse-grained tasks run in parallel and communicate with each other at a fine-grained level. While current HLS tools support task-parallel programs, the productivity is greatly limited in the code development, correctness verification, and QoR tuning cycles, due to the poor programmability, restricted software simulation, and slow code generation, respectively. Such limited productivity often defeats the purpose of HLS and hinder programmers from adopting HLS for task-parallel FPGA accelerators. In this paper, we extend the HLS C++ language and present a fully automated framework with programmer-friendly interfaces, universal software simulation, and fast code generation to overcome these limitations. Experimental results based on a wide range of real-world task-parallel programs show that, on average, the lines of kernel and host code are reduced by 22% and 51%, respectively, which considerably improves the programmability. The correctness verification and the iterative QoR tuning cycles are both greatly accelerated by 3.2xand 6.8x, respectively.
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