CS - Precision Analysis Tool for FPGAs Abstract. A...

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Precision Analysis Tool for FPGAs Abstract. A precision analysis tool for FPGAs is presented in this paper. The tool allocates the MSB of every signal using a static analysis methodology based on Affine Arithmetic and the LSB using a dynamic analysis based on statistical analysis of given stimuli values. A Stimuli generator tool is also presented in this tool to help the user generating the stimuli values for all the input signals. A precision simulator is also embedded in this tool to allow the designer to simulate and compare the results between a floating point simulation and the customized bit-width simulation. Result show that this environment gives hardware designers an easy and fast way to allocate optimized bitwidths for every signal in the system 1 Introduction Hardware designs start usually with pure software descriptions of certain algorithms given in any high level language (e.g. C/C++, Matlab). Hardware designers have than the daunting task to convert those algorithms into hardware. A very delicate part is the data format conversion. Software algorithms are designed using predefined data types (e.g. float, double, int), whereas custom hardware designs allow to fully customize the wordlengths of every signal. In FPGAs this is extremely important, since designers have the freedom to construct customized precision datapaths. This is nowadays mostly still done manually, which is extremely time consuming and a very delicate aspect of any hardware design, as it will have a dramatic impact on the area and speed of the resulting design. On the other hand if the wordlength selected is not precise enough erroneous results can be obtained at the outputs, thus rendering the hardware design useless. A complete precision analysis tool, especially designer for FPGAs has been therefore created to aid hardware designers to allocate the minimum necessary number of bits for every signal (MSB and LSB). It allocates the MSB based using a static analysis methodology based on Affine Arithmetic (AA). The LSB is assigned on the other hand using a dynamic analysis methodology. The precision analysis environment is embedded in a larger project that involves the translation of ANSI C into hardware implemented on FPGAs. This project is developed to bridge the gap between the high level algorithmic description of a system and the hardware design. The tool reads in ANSI C code and displays it scheduled without performing any optimizations in a graphical environment. The designer can than explore the C code and either manually or with the help of some built-in tools analyze and modify the system until he is satisfied with the result. After this, VHDL code is generated automatically. The precision analyzer presented in this paper is one of the built-in tools of this environment. The precision analysis tool has also an in-built simulator that allows designers to
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CS - Precision Analysis Tool for FPGAs Abstract. A...

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