has been held as an important part of WORLDCOMP:
Today's FPGAs have logic capacities that are steadily increasing. The FPGA is a large array of fine-grained programmable elements that can be configured in such a way to efficiently solve many complex problems. For many applications, FPGAs are a tremendously efficient computational fabric; however, the primary method of design entry for FPGAs is through Hardware Design Languages (HDLs) such as VHDL or Verilog. These languages model the FPGA at an extremely low level where the programmer is expected to understand cycle-accurate details of how data is moved and transformed through the FPGA. While this programming model is required to achieve the highest possible efficiency from FPGAs, it is akin to "assembly language" programming for processors. In this talk, we explore techniques that allow us to program FPGAs at a level of abstraction that is closer to traditional software-centric approaches. These techniques allow us to tradeoff some efficiency for added designer productivity. Our language of choice is OpenCL, which is an industry standard parallel language based on 'C.' OpenCL offers numerous compelling advantages that enable designers to harness the computational power of FPGAs and yet ease the programming burden to a significant extent.
Stephen Brown, is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he received his Ph.D. in 1990. He also holds the position of Architect at the Altera Toronto Technology Center, a world-leading research and development site for CAD software and FPGA architectures, where he is involved in research activities and is the Director of the Altera University Program. His research interests include field-programmable VLSI technology, CAD algorithms, and computer architecture. He won the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Councils 1992 Doctoral Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in Canada. He has won multiple awards for excellence in teaching and is a coauthor of more than 85 scientific research papers and three textbooks: Fundamentals of Digital Logic with Verilog Design, Fundamentals of Digital Logic with VHDL Design, and Field-Programmable Gate Arrays.