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Short Desc. : Floating Point Megafunctions
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Many modern digital signal processing (DSP) systems employ floating-point functionality to achieve the high degree of numeric precision and dynamic range that most applications require. Applications such as radar, sonar, bioscience and molecular science, financial modeling, advanced wireless antenna processing, medical imaging, image analytics and synthesis, and precision control are just some that create a demand for floating-point capabilities in FPGAs. Furthermore, as FPGAs continue to grow in size and capability, they are becoming the highest performance platform available for any type of floating-point-based algorithm or computation. In a recent National Science Foundation benchmark, a Stratix® IV FPGA delivered 171 giga floating point operations per second (GFLOPs), and was the clear overall leader for the highest GFLOP/watt performance.

Table 1 shows Altera's market-leading floating-point performance.

Table 1. Floating-Point Performance
Matrix MultiplyDimensionVector
Size
Logic UsagefMAXLatency
(Cycles)
GFLOPs
Logic
Elements
(LEs)
DSPM9KM144K

Memory

(Bits)

Single precision 8x8 * 8x8 8 1,346 32 26 - 14,986 420 209 6.30
16x16 * 16x16 8 1,434 32 27 - 55,562 421 611 6.32
32x32 * 32x32 16 2,520 64 76 - 339,718 419 2,172 13.00
64x64 * 64x64 32 4,728 128 80 16 2,382,318 388 8,353 24.45
Double precision 8x8 * 8x8 8 3,610 112 34 - 29,762 303 213 4.54
16x16 * 16x16 8 3,693 112 39 - 110,756 314 615 4.71
32x32 * 32x32 16 7,526 224 109 - 679,302 299 2,178 9.27
64x64 * 64x64 32 14,335 448 77 32 4,765,120 284 8,359 17.91

Single precision complex

8x8 * 8x8 8 3,998 128 59 - 22,666 413 220 12.80
16x16 * 16x16 8 4,137 128 64 - 79,139 404 624 12.52
32x32 * 32x32 16 8,002 256 146 - 420,519 397 2,181 24.99
64x64 * 64x64 32 15,627 512 216 16 2,674,289 360 8,362 45.68

Table 2 shows example numbers of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) MegaCore® function usage in the Stratix IV GX EP4SGX530 device.

Table 2. FFT MegaCore Function (Second-Generation Fused Datapath)
Features14 Floating-Point FFT Cores, 1,024 Points
UsageMaximum
Available
Resources
Usage (%)
Logic utilization 300,000 424,960 70
ALUT 224,000 424,960 53
Registers 210,000 424,960 49
M9K 1,280 1,280 100
M144K 64 64 100
DSP block (18-bit) 896 1,024 88
fMAX > 300 MHz - -
Transform time per core 3 us (normalized: 0.22 us) - -

Altera provides the largest library of IEEE 754-compliant floating-point megafunctions, and they can all be used in any Altera® device family. Key megafunctions include:

  • Addition and subtraction (altfp_add_sub)
  • Multiplication (altfp_mult)
  • Division (altfp_div)
  • Square root (altfp_sqrt)
  • Compare (altfp_compare)
  • Logarithm (altfp_log)
  • Exponential (altfp_exp)
  • Inverse (altfp_inv)
  • Inverse square root (altfp_inv_sqrt)
  • Matrix multiplier (altfp_matrix_mult)
  • Matrix inversion (altfp_matrix_invert)
  • Sine (alt_sine)
  • Cosine (alt_cosins)
  • FFT (MegaCore)

Features

Floating-point computation performance is typically a balanced combination of the frequency at which the operators run and the pipeline latency of the operator hardware. This product yields a measure of GFLOP performance metric. When designing for maximum GFLOP performance in an FPGA, the total number of operators that can be placed in an FPGA is vital. As such, you can parameterize the Altera floating-point megafunctions in many different ways to fine-tune GFLOP performance (or, similarly, for other key metrics such as power and area) to meet the application-specific requirements. The configurable features include:

  • Single and double-precision selection
  • Single extended configurable precision
  • Operator latency versus area tradeoff
  • Reduced functionality
  • Optional denormalized number support
  • Reduced rounding accuracy
  • Optional indefinite support
  • Support for dedicated multiplier circuitry (multiplier only)
  • Optional add or subtract-only mode (adder or subtractor only)

Typical Performance

Table 3 lists the typical performance for a few selected floating-point operators. All results are quoted based on the Stratix V and Arria V FPGA families. For more details, please refer to the user guide for each megafunction.

Table 3. Floating-Point FPGA Resources

Device LEs 27 x 27 Multipliers Single-PrecisionMultipliers Double-PrecisionMultipliers Memory (Mbits)
5SGSD4 330K 1,020 1,020 255 18
5SGSD5 462K 1,498 1,498 374 40
5SGSD6 583K 1,775 1,775 443 45
5SGSD8 695K 1,963 1,963 490 50
5AGXB7 503K 1,139 1,139 285 24

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Categories :
Portability :
 FPGA Technologis 
Altera :
Arria GX
ARRIA V GX
ARRIA V GZ
Cyclone
Cyclone II
Cyclone III
CYCLONE III LS
CYCLONE IV GX
CYCLONE V GX
HardCopy II
HARDCOPY III
HARDCOPY IV E
HARDCOPY IV GX
Stratix
Stratix GX
Stratix II
Stratix II GX
STRATIX III E
STRATIX IV GX
STRATIX V GX

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