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System-Level Benefits Of The Versal Platform


Moore's Law has fueled the technological prosperity of the last 50 years, but it is generally believed now that Gordon Moore's 1965 forecast about the pace of innovation no longer holds true today. Continuing the silicon architectures of yesterday cannot meet the expanding demands of tomorrow's workloads. Frequently highlighted by today’s leaders in the field of computer architecture, to meet... » read more

Ten Lessons From Three Generations Shaped Google’s TPUv4i


Source: Norman P. Jouppi, Doe Hyun Yoon, Matthew Ashcraft, Mark Gottscho, Thomas B. Jablin, George Kurian, James Laudon, Sheng Li, Peter Ma, Xiaoyu Ma, Nishant Patil, Sushma Prasad, Clifford Young, Zongwei Zhou (Google); David Patterson (Google / Berkeley) Find technical paper here. 2021 ACM/IEEE 48th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) Abstract–"Google de... » read more

The Road To Domain-Specific Accelerators


For about fifty years, IC designers have been relying on different types of semiconductor scaling to achieve gains in performance. Best known is Moore’s Law, which predicted that the number of transistors in a given silicon area and clock frequency would double every two years. This was combined with Dennard scaling, which predicted that with silicon geometries and supply voltages shrinki... » read more

Interconnects In A Domain-Specific World


Moving data around is probably the least interesting aspect of system design, but it is one of three legs that defines the key performance indicators (KPI) for a system. Computation, memory, and interconnect all need to be balanced. Otherwise, resources are wasted and performance is lost. The problem is that the interconnect is rarely seen as a contributor to system functionality. It is seen... » read more

Tradeoffs To Improve Performance, Lower Power


Generic chips are no longer acceptable in competitive markets, and the trend is growing as designs become increasingly heterogeneous and targeted to specific workloads and applications. From the edge to the cloud, including everything from vehicles, smartphones, to commercial and industrial machinery, the trend increasingly is on maximizing performance using the least amount of energy. This ... » read more

Roaring ’20s For The Chip Industry


2020 was a good year for the semiconductor industry and the EDA industry that fuels it, but 2021 has the opportunity to be even better. New end application markets continue to open, and what were once seen as technical hurdles are leading to a multitude of innovative solutions, all of which need suitable tooling. No company can afford to invest everywhere, and so for EDA companies, their rel... » read more

Versal: The First Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP)


Recent technical challenges have forced the industry to explore options beyond the conventional “one size fits all” CPU scalar processing solution. Very large vector processing (DSP, GPU) solves some problems, but it runs into traditional scaling challenges due to inflexible, inefficient memory bandwidth usage. Traditional FPGA solutions provide programmable memory hierarchy, but the tradit... » read more

Optimizing What Exactly?


You can't optimize something without understanding it. While we inherently understand what this means, we are often too busy implementing something to stop and think about it. Some people may not even be sure what it is that they should be optimizing and that makes it very difficult to know if you have been successful. This was a key message delivered by Professor David Patterson at the Embedde... » read more

Processors Are Exciting Again


Today is a very exciting time in the world of processor architectures. Domain-specific processor architectures are now fully realized as the best answers to the challenges of low power and high performance for many applications. Advancements in artificial intelligence are leading the way to exciting new experiences and products today and in our future. There have been more advances in deep lear... » read more

Five DAC Keynotes


The ending of Moore's Law may be about to create a new golden age for design, especially one fueled by artificial intelligence and machine learning. But design will become task-, application- and domain-specific, and will require that we think about the lifecycle of the products in a different way. In the future, we also will have to design for augmentation of experience, not just automation... » read more