21 October 1996 Compiling high-level languages for configurable computers: applying lessons from heterogeneous processing
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Abstract
Configurable systems offer increased performance by providing hardware that matches the computational structure of a problem. This hardware is currently programmed with CAD tools and explicit library calls. To attain widespread acceptance, configurable computing must become transparently accessible from high-level programming languages, but the changeable nature of the target hardware presents a major challenge to traditional compiler technology. A compiler for a configurable computer should optimize the use of functions embedded in hardware and schedule hardware reconfigurations. The hurdles to be overcome in achieving this capability are similar in some ways to those facing compilation for heterogeneous systems. For example, current traditional compilers have neither an interface to accept new primitive operators, nor a mechanism for applying optimizations to new operators. We are building a compiler for heterogeneous computing, called Scale, which replaces the traditional monolithic compiler architecture with a flexible framework. Scale has three main parts: translation director, compilation library, and a persistent store which holds our intermediate representation as well as other data structures. The translation director exploits the framework's flexibility by using architectural information to build a plan to direct each compilation. The translation library serves as a toolkit for use by the translation director. Our compiler intermediate representation, Score, facilities the addition of new IR nodes by distinguishing features used in defining nodes from properties on which transformations depend. In this paper, we present an overview of the scale architecture and its capabilities for dealing with heterogeneity, followed by a discussion of how those capabilities apply to problems in configurable computing. We then address aspects of configurable computing that are likely to require extensions to our approach and propose some extensions.
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Glen E. Weaver, Glen E. Weaver, Charles C. Weems, Charles C. Weems, Kathryn S. McKinley, Kathryn S. McKinley, } "Compiling high-level languages for configurable computers: applying lessons from heterogeneous processing", Proc. SPIE 2914, High-Speed Computing, Digital Signal Processing, and Filtering Using Reconfigurable Logic, (21 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.255822; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.255822
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