XACC Tech Talk series

The talks will be hosted as Zoom webinars and are free to attend. The format for each session will be two 30-minute talks on topics related to Adaptive Compute.

If you would like to present your work at an XACC Tech Talk, please contact xup@xilinx.com with an outline of your proposal.

Upcoming talks

XACC Tech Talk 7

16:00-17:00 (CET/GMT+1) 16 December 2021

Register for the XACC Tech Talk 7 Zoom webinar

Lucent: A language for developing application specific dataflow machines on FPGAs

Dr Nick Brown, EPCC, University of Edinburgh

Writing fast, high performance FPGA codes is difficult, even with HLS. However potentially we can learn from work done in the 1970s/1980s which studied programming general purpose dataflow machines, as the reconfigurability of FPGAs enable us to present the abstraction of dataflow machines which are specific to an application. In this talk I will describe Lucent, a modern version of the Lucid dataflow language, which targets Xilinx Alveo hardware and aims to empower the development of fast by construction dataflow codes on FPGAs.

Easy deployment, scaling and resource management of Alveo FPGA​

Dr Chris Kachis, InAccel

In this talk we will present an easy way to deploy, scale and manage FPGA application on Alveo clusters such as XACC. InAccel will present the Coral resource manager that abstract away the FPGA resources for easy utilization and instant scaling of FPGA designs. It will also show how we managed to support multi-FPGA accelerators (such as FINN) using a custom InAccel runtime for synchronization between accelerators. Finally, we will show how Coral resource manager can be used for easier deployment of the Vitis AI and Vitis libraries.

Past talks

XACC Tech Talk 6

19th August 2021

Multes on Alveo: An FPGA-based Smart Key-Value Store Running on XACC

Zsolt István, Assoc. Prof, IT University of Copenhagen

In this talk, we will present Multes, an FPGA-based Key-Value Store (KVS) with user-defined query offloading (the “smarts”) and explain how it has been ported to the Alveo cards in XACC using the Vitis Shell with 100Gbps networking. We will also present an example of offloading to the KVS, namely, a privacy-preserving perturbation for ML training.

TAPA: Efficient Support for Task-Parallel High-Level Synthesis

Yuze Chi, Computer Science Department, UCLA

This talk will present TAPA, a fully automated framework for task-parallel HLS programs with programmer-friendly interfaces, unconstrained software simulation, and fast hierarchical code generation.

Experimental results based on a wide range of real-world task-parallel programs show that the lines of kernel and host code, the correctness verification cycle, and the iterative QoR tuning cycle are all greatly shortened, which considerably improves the programmability.

XACC Tech Talk 5

05th August 2021

Optimized Implementation of the HPCG Benchmark on Reconfigurable Hardware

Alberto Zeni, Politecnico Di Milano

The HPCG benchmark represents a modern complement to the HPL benchmark in the performance evaluation of HPC systems, as it has been recognized as a more representative benchmark to reflect real-world applications and, consequently, its popularity and acceptance continue to rise within the HPC community. This talk will present the first FPGA-based implementation of the HPCG benchmark, which takes full advantage of reconfigurable architectures. Our implementation shows performance up to 108.4 and 346.5 GFlops on 1 and 4 Xilinx Alveo U280 cards on the XACC cluster, demonstrating significant performance improvements against the CPU implementation and comparable performance with GPU implementations with better power efficiency.

ScaleHLS: Scalable High-Level Synthesis through MLIR

Hanchen Ye, UIUC

High-level Synthesis (HLS) has been widely adopted as it significantly improves the hardware design productivity and enables efficient design space exploration (DSE). HLS tools can be used to deliver solutions for many different kinds of design problems, and different problems are often better solved with different levels of abstraction. While existing HLS tools are built using compiler infrastructures largely based on a single-level abstraction (e.g., LLVM), we propose ScaleHLS, a next-generation HLS compilation flow, on top of a multi-level compiler infrastructure called MLIR, for the first time. ScaleHLS is able to optimize HLS designs at multiple levels of abstraction and provides an HLS-dedicated transform and analysis library to solve the optimization problems at the suitable abstraction levels. On top of the library, we also build an automated DSE engine to explore the multi-dimensional design space highly efficiently. In addition, we develop an HLS C front-end and a C/C++ emission back-end to translate HLS designs into/from MLIR for enabling the end-to-end ScaleHLS flow. Experimental results show that, comparing to the baseline designs only optimized by Xilinx Vivado HLS, ScaleHLS improves the performances with amazing quality-of-results – up to 768.1x better on computation kernel level programs and up to 3825.0x better on neural network models.

XACC Tech Talk 4

22nd July 2021

ThundeRiNG: Generating Multiple Independent Random Number Sequences on FPGAs

Hongshi Tan, Master student, National University of Singapore

ThundeRiNG is a high-throughput system for generating multiple independent sequences of random numbers on FPGAs. The experimental results show that ThundeRiNG passes the strictest randomness tests, BigCrush, achieving a throughput of 20.95 Tb/s. Compared to a state-of-the-art GPU library, ThundeRiNG demonstrates a 10x speedup in throughput and 9x performance and 26x power efficiency improvement on two applications (pi estimation and Monte Carlo option pricing).

Fletcher: A framework for high-performance big data analytics using FPGAs

Joost Hoozemans, Postdoctoral researcher, TU Delft

This talk will present a vision for transparent acceleration of analytics workloads on FPGAs. The Fletcher project allows integrating FPGAs into scalable software frameworks, to efficiently utilize them in a cloud hardware infrastructure. Fletcher supports Alveo FPGA cards in the XACC cluster, AWS F1 and Azure instances. We demonstrate the integration of FPGA implementations of various analytics operations into a number of popular analytics frameworks (Apache Spark, Dremio, Dask) and show significant speedup.

XACC Tech Talk 3

8th July, 2021

Blockchain Machine: Accelerating Validation Bottlenecks in Hyperledger Fabric

Dr. Haris Javaid, Senior Staff Researcher, Xilinx

Blockchain Machine is a hardware accelerator for validation of blocks in Hyperledger Fabric, one of the most widely used permissioned blockchain platforms. It is targeted for a server with network-attached FPGA acceleration card and can be adapted to applications and their smart contracts (built on top of Fabric). The Blockchain Machine retrieves block/transaction data in hardware directly from the network interface, which is then processed through a configurable and efficient block-level and transaction-level pipeline. The results are then accessed by the host CPU where non-bottleneck operations are executed. From our implementation integrated with Fabric v1.4 LTS, we observed up to 17x speedup in block validation when compared to software-only implementation.

Blockchain: https://github.com/Xilinx/hyperledger-fabric

ThunderGP: HLS-based Graph Processing on FPGAs

Xinyu Chen, Doctoral Student, National University of Singapore

ThunderGP is proposed to bridge the gap between high-level graph processing applications and underlying CPU-FPGA platforms. With ThunderGP, developers could enjoy the performance of FPGA-accelerated graph processing by writing only a few high-level functions with no knowledge of the hardware.

ThunderGP: https://github.com/Xtra-Computing/ThunderGP

XACC Tech Talk 2

24th June 2021

VNx and EasyNet

Dr. Mario Ruiz, Xilinx University Program; Zhenhao He, Doctoral Student, Systems Group, ETH Zurich

This presentation will introduce VNx which adds 100Gbps UDP/IP support to Vitis designs. EasyNet extends VNx to support 100Gbps TCP/IP from HLS. Both VNx and EasyNet are open-source and supported from Vitis and can be used to add high-speed networking interfaces to Alveo platforms.

Vnx: https://github.com/Xilinx/xup_vitis_network_example

EasyNet: https://github.com/fpgasystems/Vitis_with_100Gbps_TCP-IP

Elastic-DF: Scaling Performance of DNN Inference in FPGA Clouds through Automatic Partitioning

Dr. Lucian Petrica, Xilinx Research Labs

Customized compute acceleration in the datacenter is key to the wider roll-out of applications based on deep neural network (DNN) inference.

In this presentation we discuss how to maximize the performance and scalability of FPGA-based pipeline dataflow DNN inference accelerators (DFAs) automatically on computing infrastructures consisting of multi-die, network-connected FPGAs. We present Elastic-DF, a novel resource partitioning tool which integrates with the DNN compiler FINN and utilizes 100Gbps Ethernet FPGA infrastructure, to achieve low-latency model-parallel inference without host involvement. Elastic-DF was applied to popular image classifiers ResNet50 and MobileNetV1 at XACC and provides significant throughput increase with no adverse impact on latency.

XACC Tech Talk 1

10th June 2021

Coyote: Do OS abstractions make sense in FPGAs?

Dario Korolija, Doctoral Student, Systems Group, ETH Zurich

Hybrid computing systems, consisting of a CPU server coupled with a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) for application acceleration, are today a common facility in datacenters and clouds. FPGAs can deliver tremendous improvements in performance and energy efficiency for a range or workloads, but development and deployment of FPGA-based applications remains cumbersome, leading to recent work which replicates subsets of the traditional OS execution environment (virtual memory, processes, etc.) on the FPGA.

We ask a different question: to what extent do traditional OS abstractions make sense in the context of an FPGA as part of a hybrid system, particularly when taken as a complete package, as they would be in an OS? To answer this, we built and evaluated Coyote, an open source, portable, configurable “shell” for FPGAs which provides a full suite of OS abstractions, working with the host OS. Coyote supports secure spatial and temporal multiplexing of the FPGA between tenants, virtual memory, communication, and memory management inside a uniform execution environment. The overhead of Coyote is small and the performance benefit is significant, but more importantly it allows us to reflect on whether importing OS abstractions wholesale to FPGAs is the best way forward.

Coyote: https://github.com/fpgasystems/Coyote

Data-Centric FPGA Programming with Multi-Level Design

Johannes de Fine Licht, Doctoral Student, Scalable Parallel Computing Laboratory, ETH Zurich

Although high-level synthesis (HLS) tools have significantly improved programmer productivity over hardware description languages, developing for FPGAs remains tedious and error prone. Programmers must learn and implement a large set of vendor-specific syntax, patterns, and tricks to optimize (or even successfully compile) their applications, while dealing with ever-changing toolflows from the FPGA vendors. We propose a new way to develop, optimize, and compile FPGA programs. The Data-Centric parallel programming (DaCe) framework allows applications to be defined by their dataflow and control flow through the Stateful DataFlow multiGraph (SDFG) representation, capturing the abstract program characteristics, and exposing a plethora of optimization opportunities. SDFGs are extended by multi-level library nodes, which incorporate both domain-specific and platform-specific optimizations into the design flow, enabling knowledge transfer across application domains and FPGA vendors. We show how the powerful code-generating backend of DaCe emits efficient HLS code that is structured and annotated to implement the desired architectures and achieve high performance in practice.

DaCe: https://github.com/spcl/dace


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