ceClub: Full-System Computer Architecture Using Open-Source Hardware and FPGA-Accelerated Simulation

Alon Amid (University of Berkeley)
Wednesday, 12.6.2019, 11:30
Electrical Eng. Building 861

In this talk, I will describe several research projects developed in the Berkeley Architecture Research group which utilize FPGA-accelerated simulation and open-source hardware, demonstrating the possibilities and accessibility of full-system computer architecture research using these tools and methodologies. FireSim is an easy-to-use, open-source, FPGA-accelerated cycle-accurate hardware simulation platform that runs on Amazon EC2 F1. FireSim automatically transforms and instruments open-hardware designs (e.g. RISC-V Rocket Chip, BOOM, Hwacha, NVDLA, etc.) with the MIDAS framework into fast (10s-100s MHz), deterministic, FPGA-based simulators that enable productive pre-silicon verification and performance validation. FireSim is capable of scaling to simulating thousands of multi-core compute nodes, with optional cycle-accurate network simulation tying them together, enabling cycle-accurate data-center simulation of over 1000 nodes. I will describe how FPGA-accelerated simulation tools can assist in the analysis and co-design of system-level performance issues, specifically in the context of low level operating system interaction with custom hardware implementations such as network interface controllers. Finally, I will demonstrate how FireSim can be used for joint SW/HW design space exploration of multi-core processors with data-parallel vector accelerators, allowing for exploration of nested-parallelism implementations with common parallel programming libraries.

Alon is a PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. His current research focus is in full-system co-design and evaluation of data-parallel architectures and large-scale distributed systems. He is affiliated with the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC), Berkeley Architecture Research group (BAR) and the ADEPT lab (formerly ASPIRE), where he is advised by Krste Asanovic and Borivoje Nikolic. Alon is a contributor to the FireSim project for FPGA-accelerated scalable cycle-accurate simulation, as well as a contributor to the RISC-V based chip-prototyping efforts at UC Berkeley.

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