Skew-Oblivious Data Routing for Data Intensive Applications on FPGAs with HLS

Xinyu Chen, Hongshi Tan, Yao Chen, Bingsheng He, Weng Fai Wong, Deming Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


FPGAs have become emerging computing infrastructures for accelerating applications in datacenters. Meanwhile, high-level synthesis (HLS) tools have been proposed to ease the programming of FPGAs. Even with HLS, irregular data-intensive applications require explicit optimizations, among which multiple processing elements (PEs) with each owning a private BRAM-based buffer are usually adopted to process multiple data per cycle. Data routing, which dynamically dispatches multiple data to designated PEs, avoids data replication in buffers compared to statically assigning data to PEs, hence saving BRAM usage. However, the workload imbalance among PEs vastly diminishes performance when processing skew datasets. In this paper, we propose a skew-oblivious data routing architecture that allocates secondary PEs and schedules them to share the workload of the overloaded PEs at run-time. In addition, we integrate the proposed architecture into a framework called Ditto to minimize the development efforts for applications that require skew handling. We evaluate Ditto on five commonly used applications: histogram building, data partitioning, pagerank, heavy hitter detection and hyperloglog. The results demonstrate that the generated implementations are robust to skew datasets and outperform the state-of-the-art designs in both throughput and BRAM usage efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 58th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665432740
StatePublished - Dec 5 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event58th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2021 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Dec 5 2021Dec 9 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Conference58th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


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