H2>High-Quality, Deterministic Parallel Placement for FPGAs on Commodity Hardware


In this paper, we describe the application of two paralleliza- tion strategies to the Quartus II FPGA placer. The first uses a pipelining approach and achieves speedups of 1.3x on two processing cores. The second uses a parallel moves approach nd achieves speedups of 2.2x on four cores. Unlike all previous parallel moves algorithms, ours is deterministic and always gives the same answer as the serial version of the algorithm, without any significant reduction in performance.

We also describe a process to quantify multi-core performance effects, such as memory subsystem limitations and explicit synchronization overhead, and fully describe these effects on a CAD tool for the firrst time. Memory limitations alone are found to cost up to 35% of total runtime. Unlike previous algorithms, our algorithms have negligible explicit synchronization overhead. These results are relevant to both CAD designers and to any developers seeking to parallelize existing software.

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