A Modular Flow for Rapid FPGA Design Implementation


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Virginia Tech


This dissertation proposes an alternative FPGA design compilation flow to reduce the back-end time required to implement an FPGA design to below the level at which the user's attention is lost. To do so, this flow focuses on enforcing modular design for both productivity and code reuse, while minimizing reliance on standard tools. This can be achieved by using a library of precompiled modules and associated meta-data to enable bitstream-level assembly of desired designs. In so doing, assembly would occur in a fraction of the time of traditional back-end tools. Modules could be bound, placed, and routed using custom bitstream assembly with the primary objective of rapid compilation while preserving performance. This turbo flow (TFlow) aims to enable software-like turn-around time for faster prototyping by leveraging precompiled components. As a result, large device compilations would be assembled in seconds, within the deadline imposed by the human attention span.



FPGA Productivity, Modular Design, Instant Gratification, Attention Span, Design Assembly Flow