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As FPGAs grow to encompass entire systems, it is becoming clear that an efficient way to implement large blocks of memory is needed. FPGAs with embedded memory blocks are now available from several vendors [2, 3], in contrast to the fine-grain LUT RAM available earlier [4, 5]. Both types of memory provide higher integration, faster memory access and reduce the demand for FPGA I/O pins compared to off-chip memory implementations.

In our previous work [6, 7], we examined FPGA memory architectures in isolation and showed how to provide the ability to implement many different numbers and shapes of user memories. This paper explores the structure of the interconnection between memory and logic. We are interested in finding the minimum memory/logic interconnect flexibility (the cost of the interconnect) that provides both routability and high speed. To do this we employ an experimental approach in which benchmark circuits are implemented on many different interconnect architectures. The following section describes our base architectural assumptions. Section 3 describes how we created enough circuits to test the architecture, and the implementation procedure. The subsequent sections give results and conclusions.

Steve Wilton
Thu Aug 1 15:28:50 EDT 1996