Creating Multiple Instances of a Kernel - 2020.2 English

Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation: Application Acceleration Development (UG1393)

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2020.2 English

By default, the linker builds a single hardware instance from a kernel. If the host program will execute the same kernel multiple times, due to data processing requirements for instance, then it must execute the kernel on the hardware accelerator in a sequential manner. This can impact overall application performance. However, you can customize the kernel linking stage to instantiate multiple hardware compute units (CUs) from a single kernel. This can improve performance as the host program can now make multiple overlapping kernel calls, executing kernels concurrently by running separate compute units.

Multiple CUs of a kernel can be created by using the connectivity.nk option in the v++ config file during linking. Edit a config file to include the needed options, and specify it in the v++ command line with the --config option, as described in Vitis Compiler Command.

For example, for the vadd kernel, two hardware instances can be implemented in the config file as follows:
#nk=<kernel name>:<number>:<cu_name>.<cu_name>...


Specifies the name of the kernel to instantiate multiple times.
The number of kernel instances, or CUs, to implement in hardware.
Specifies the instance names for the specified number of instances. This is optional, and the CU name will default to kernel_1 when it is not specified.
Then the config file is specified on the v++ command line:
v++ --config vadd_config.cfg ...

In the vadd example above, the result is two instances of the vadd kernel, named vadd_1 and vadd_2.

Tip: You can check the results by using the xclbinutil command to examine the contents of the xclbin file. Refer to xclbinutil Utility.
The following example results in three CUs of the vadd kernel, named vadd_X, vadd_Y, and vadd_Z in the xclbin binary file: