SC20 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

FBLAS: Streaming Linear Algebra on FPGA

Authors: Tiziano De Matteis, Johannes de Fine Licht, and Torsten Hoefler (ETH Zurich)

Abstract: Spatial computing architectures pose an attractive alternative to mitigate control and data movement overheads typical of load-store architectures. In practice, these devices are rarely considered in the HPC community due to the steep learning curve, low productivity and lack of available libraries for fundamental operations. High-level synthesis (HLS) tools are facilitating hardware programming, but optimizing for these architectures requires factoring in new transformations and resources/performance trade-offs. We present FBLAS, an open-source HLS implementation of BLAS for FPGAs, that enables reusability, portability and easy integration with existing software and hardware codes. FBLAS' implementation allows scaling hardware modules to exploit on-chip resources, and module interfaces are designed to natively support streaming on-chip communications, allowing them to be composed to reduce off-chip communication. With FBLAS, we set a precedent for FPGA library design, and contribute to the toolbox of customizable hardware components necessary for HPC codes to start productively targeting reconfigurable platforms.

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