A Survey of Network-Based Hardware Accelerators

Research paper analyzes, compares, and discusses different approaches to implementing network-based hardware accelerators in FPGA and programmable SoC.


“Many practical data-processing algorithms fail to execute efficiently on general-purpose CPUs (Central Processing Units) due to the sequential matter of their operations and memory bandwidth limitations. To achieve desired performance levels, reconfigurable (FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array)-based) hardware accelerators are frequently explored that permit the processing units’ architectures to be better adapted to the specific problem/algorithm requirements. In particular, network-based data-processing algorithms are very well suited to implementation in reconfigurable hardware because several data-independent operations can easily and naturally be executed in parallel over as many processing blocks as actually required and technically possible. GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) have also demonstrated good results in this area but they tend to use significantly more power than FPGA, which could be a limiting factor in embedded applications. Moreover, GPUs employ a Single Instruction, Multiple Threads (SIMT) execution model and are therefore optimized to SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) operations, while in FPGAs fully custom datapaths can be built, eliminating much of the control overhead. This review paper aims to analyze, compare, and discuss different approaches to implementing network-based hardware accelerators in FPGA and programmable SoC (Systems-on-Chip). The performed analysis and the derived recommendations would be useful to hardware designers of future network-based hardware accelerators.”

Find the open access technical paper here. Published March 2022.

Skliarova, I. A Survey of Network-Based Hardware Accelerators. Electronics 2022, 11, 1029. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11071029.

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