Fast and Flexible FPGA-based NoC Hybrid Emulation


Researchers from RWTH Aachen University and Otto-von-Guericke Universitat Magdeburg have published a new technical paper titled “EmuNoC: Hybrid Emulation for Fast and Flexible Network-on-Chip Prototyping on FPGAs.”


“Networks-on-Chips (NoCs) recently became widely used, from multi-core CPUs to edge-AI accelerators. Emulation on FPGAs promises to accelerate their RTL modeling compared to slow simulations. However, realistic test stimuli are challenging to generate in hardware for diverse applications. In other words, both a fast and flexible design framework is required. The most promising solution is hybrid emulation, in which parts of the design are simulated in software, and the other parts are emulated in hardware. This paper proposes a novel hybrid emulation framework called EmuNoC. We introduce a clock-synchronization method and software-only packet generation that improves the emulation speed by 36.3x to 79.3x over state-of-the-art frameworks while retaining the flexibility of a pure-software interface for stimuli simulation. We also increased the area efficiency to model up to an NoC with 169 routers on a single FPGA, while previous frameworks only achieved 64 routers.”

Find the technical paper here. Published June 2022.

Authors: Yee Yang Tan, Felix Staudigl, Lukas Jünger, Anna Drewes, Rainer Leupers, and Jan Moritz Joseph. Publication: arXiv:2206.11613v1.

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