Improving the performance of circuit-switched interconnection network for a multi-FPGA system

Kohei Ito, Kensuke Iizuka, Kazuei Hironaka, Yao Hu, Michihiro Koibuchi, Hideharu Amano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


SUMMARY Multi-FPGA systems have gained attention because of their high performance and power efficiency. A multi-FPGA system called Flow-in-Cloud (FiC) is currently being developed as an accelerator of multi-access edge computing (MEC). FiC consists of multiple mid-range FPGAs tightly connected by high-speed serial links. Since time-critical jobs are assumed in MEC, a circuit-switched network with static time-division multiplexing (STDM) switches has been implemented on FiC. This paper investigates techniques of enhancing the interconnection performance of FiC. Unlike switching fabrics for Network on Chips or parallel machines, economical multi-FPGA systems, such as FiC, use Xilinx Aurora IP and FireFly cables with multiple lanes. We adopted the link aggregation and the slot distribution for using multiple lanes. To mitigate the bottleneck between an STDM switch and user logic, we also propose a multi-ejection STDM switch. We evaluated various combinations of our techniques by using three practical applications on an FiC prototype with 24 boards. When the number of slots is large and transferred data size is small, the slot distribution was sometimes more effective, while the link aggregation was superior for other most cases. Our multi-ejection STDM switch mitigated the bottleneck in ejection ports and successfully reduced the number of time slots. As a result, by combining the link aggregation and multi-ejection STDM switch, communication performance improved up to 7.50 times with few additional resources. Although the performance of the fast Fourier transform with the highest communication ratio could not be enhanced by using multiple boards when a lane was used, 1.99 times performance improvement was achieved by using 8 boards with four lanes and our multi-ejection switch compared with a board.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2029-2039
Number of pages11
JournalIEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Circuit-switched network
  • Multi-FPGA
  • Multi-FPGA communication
  • STDM switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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