Decide Kernel Placement and Connectivity - 2023.2 English

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

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2023.2 English

After the kernel boundaries are finalized, the developer knows exactly how many kernels will be instantiated and therefore how many ports will need to be connected to global memory resources.

At this point, it is important to understand the features of the target platform and what global memory resources are available. For instance, the Alveo U200 Data Center accelerator card has 4 x 16 GB banks of DDR4 and 3 x 128 KB banks of PLRAM distributed across three super-logic regions (SLRs). For more information, refer to Vitis Software Platform Release Notes.

If kernels are factories, then global memory banks are the warehouses through which goods transit to and from the factories. The SLRs are like distinct industrial zones where warehouses preexist and factories can be built. While it is possible to transfer goods from a warehouse in one zone to a factory in another zone, this can add delay and complexity.

Using multiple DDRs helps balance the data transfer loads and improves performance. This comes with a cost, however, as each DDR controller consumes device resources. Balance these considerations when deciding how to connect kernel ports to memory banks. As explained in Mapping Kernel Ports to Memory, establishing these connections is done through a simple compiler switch, making it easy to change configurations if necessary.

After refining the architectural details, the developer should have all the information necessary to start implementing the kernels, and ultimately, assembling the entire application.