MSc Thesis Defense by Johannes de Fine Licht – Københavns Universitet

MSc Thesis Defense by Johannes de Fine Licht


Modeling and Implementing High Performance Programs on FPGA


This work investigates the potential of high performance computing (HPC) on field- programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), highlighting concepts and programming techniques to pursue performance using high level synthesis (HLS) tools. We compute the peak single precision floating point performance on the AlphaData 7V3 board using a model of replicated processing elements, then implement a benchmark to verify the predicted performance in hardware, using both the SDAccel framework and a custom reference design provided by Xilinx. The benchmarks reach 302 GOp/s and 548 GOp/s on the two platforms, respectively. The techniques are applied to the field of stencil computations, proposing a temporally pipelined streaming design for the 2D Jacobian stencil that scales with available area on the chip, by using on-chip memory to buffer the incoming wavefront, achieving a sustained performance of 256 GOp/s on a 256 × 256 grid. Finally the current state of FPGAs is discussed based on the results obtained, and comments are made on the future of reconfigurable computing in HPC.

External Examiner

  • Philippe Bonnet, ITU


  • Ken Friis Larsen, DIKU
  • Prof. Torsten Hoefler, ETH Zürich


  • Michaela Blott, Xilinx Research
  • Sabela Ramos, ETH Zürich