A detailed power model for field-programmable gate arrays

TitleA detailed power model for field-programmable gate arrays
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsPoon, K. K. W., S. J. E. Wilton, and A. Yan
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems

Power has become a critical issue for field-programmable gate array (FPGA) vendors. Understanding the power dissipation within FPGAs is the first step in developing power-efficient architectures and computer-aided design (CAD) tools for FPGAs. This article describes a detailed and flexible power model which has been integrated in the widely used Versatile Place and Route (VPR) CAD tool. This power model estimates the dynamic, short-circuit, and leakage power consumed by FPGAs. It is the first flexible power model developed to evaluate architectural tradeoffs and the efficiency of power-aware CAD tools for a variety of FPGA architectures, and is freely available for noncommercial use. The model is flexible, in that it can estimate the power for a wide variety of FPGA architectures, and it is fast, in that it does not require extensive simulation, meaning it can be used to explore a large architectural space. We show how the model can be used to investigate the impact of various architectural parameters on the energy consumed by the FPGA, focusing on the segment length, switch block topology, lookuptable size, and cluster size.

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