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Area/speed tradeoffs in a retargetable FPGA-optimized processor core

Speaker:  Marco Zec, University of Zagreb

Title:  “Area/speed tradeoffs in a retargetable FPGA-optimized processor core”

Date:  Friday, July 15, 2016

Time:  11:00 AM

Location:  CECS Conference Room (Engineering Hall 3206)

Host:  Prof. Daniel Gajski

Abstract: Can portable yet efficient, FPGA-optimized processor cores be constructed using generic HDL, without depending on any vendor-specific primitives?  In this talk we will discuss the techniques applied for achieving a balance between instruction throughput and FPGA resource utilization in a synthesizable scalar core which outperforms its proprietary counterparts (MicroBlaze, Nios, Cortex-M3) by 20% to 40% in industry-standard integer benchmarks (CoreMark, Dhrystone per MHz) while
occupying less than 1000 6-input LUTs, and less than 650 LUTs in an area-optimized configuration.  The core can be retargeted to execute subsets of either the emerging RISC-V or the traditional MIPS instruction sets, and is supported by contemporary GNU-based software toolchains.

Bio: Marko Zec received a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Zagreb, where since 2005. he has been working as a project scientist on various computer networks projects with funding from ICSI Berkeley, the FreeBSD foundation, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and Ericsson. His research interests include operating systems, computer networks, software-based packet processing datapaths, and programmable logic.

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