Cluster-Based Logic Blocks for FPGAs: Area-Efficiency vs. Input Sharing and Size


While modern FPGAs often contain clusters of 4-input lookup tables and flip flops, little is known about good choices for two key architectural parameters: the number of these basic logic elements (BLEs) in each cluster, and the total number of distinct inputs that the programmable routing can provide to each cluster. In this paper we explore the effect of these parameters on FPGA area-efficiency. We show that a cluster containing N BLEs needs only 2N + 2 distinct inputs (vs. the 4N maximum) to achieve complete logic utilization. Secondly, we find that a cluster size of 4 is most area-efficient, and leads to an FPGA that is 5 - 10% more area-efficient than an FPGA based on a single BLE logic block.

Back to my home page.