1. Prof. Jason Anderson
High-Level Synthesis - The Right Side of History
High-level synthesis (HLS) was first proposed in the 1980s. After spending decades on the sidelines of mainstream RTL digital design, there has been tremendous buzz around HLS technology in recent years. Indeed, HLS is on the upswing as a design methodology for field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to improve designer productivity and ultimately, to make FPGA technology accessible to software engineers having limited hardware expertise. The hope is that down the road, software developers could use HLS to realize FPGA-based accelerators customized to applications that work in tandem with standard processors to raise computational throughput and energy efficiency. And, the further hope is that such HLS-generated accelerators operate close to the speed and energy efficiency of human-expert-designed accelerators.
In this talk, I will overview the trends behind the recent drive towards FPGA HLS and why the need for, and use of, HLS will only become more pronounced in the coming years. I will argue that HLS, as opposed to traditional RTL design, is on the “right side of history”. The talk will highlight current HLS research directions and expose some of the challenges for HLS that may hinder its update in the digital design community. I will also describe work underway in the LegUp HLS project at the University of Toronto — a publicly available HLS tool that has been downloaded by over 4000 groups from around the world (http://legup.eecg.toronto.edu).
Jason Anderson (http://janders.eecg.toronto.edu) is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and holds the Jeffrey Skoll Endowed Chair in Software Engineering. From 1997-2008, he was with the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation tools group at Xilinx, Inc., working on placement, routing, synthesis and timing tools for Xilinx chips. Prof. Anderson has received seven awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching, four best papers awards, holds 27 U.S. patents, and has authored over 80 papers in refereed international journals and symposia, as well as 3 book chapters. His research interests include all aspects of computer-aided design (CAD), architecture and circuits for FPGAs. Dr. Anderson was Program Co-Chair for the 2012 IEEE Int’l Conference on Field-Programmable Technology (FPT) and General Chair for the 2015 IEEE Int'l Conference on Application-specific Systems, Architectures and Processors (ASAP). He was Program Co-Chair for the 2016 Int’l Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL) and is Program Chair for the 2017 ACM Int’l Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (ACM).
2. Dr.Andrew Putnam
The Configurable Cloud -- Accelerating Hyperscale Datacenter Services with FPGAs.
The Catapult project has brought the power and performance of FPGA-based reconfigurable computing to Microsoft’s hyperscale datacenters, accelerating major production cloud applications such as Bing web search and Microsoft Azure, and enabling a new generation of machine learning and artificial intelligence applications.
In this talk, I will describe the next generation of the Catapult configurable cloud architecture, show some of the applications have been accelerated by Catapult, and discuss the experiences and lessons learned while bringing up the first applications in the configurable cloud.
I will also share stories of the evolution of Catapult – from its origins as a single development kit board through to the hyperscale deployment of hundreds of thousands of FPGAs across 15 countries and 5 continents – highlighting insights and experiences that transformed Catapult from a caffeine-fueled PowerPoint presentation into the largest deployment of reconfigurable computing in the world.
Dr. Andrew Putnam is a principal research hardware design engineer at Microsoft Research. He received a dual B.A/B.S. with a triple major in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics from the University of San Diego in 2003, then his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2006 and 2009 respectively. He joined Microsoft Research in 2009, and was the first engineer in the Catapult project at Microsoft, which was the first to integrate FPGAs at a large scale into a production hyperscale datacenters. His research interests focus on accelerating data center applications with novel hardware such as FPGAs, computer security, and on the design of energy-efficient computer architectures.
3. Ms. Yonghua Lin
FPGA as Service in Public Cloud : Why and How
IBM is the leader of Accelerator cloud technology innovation in industry. IBM Supervessel Cloud is the first cloud providing FPGA accelerator service and FPGA DevOps service to developers. In this talk, Yonghua Lin, Supervessel Cloud leader will share her view on why FPGA service in cloud is important, and how FPGA service could accelerate the Cognitive Computing in Cloud. Meanwhile, Yonghua will introduce the key technologies supporting FPGA service in cloud. Supervessel Cloud has launched FPGA as service for more than 18 months. The FPGA service has been used by developers from different countries. In this talk, Yonghua will also share the gap learned from all these users, and her vision for future.
Yonghua Lin is Senior Technical Staff Member and Senior Manager of Cognitive Platform and Cloud in IBM Research. She has worked on system architecture, cloud and cognitive platform research for more than 15 years. Her work covered all kinds of IBM multicore processors in the past 10 years, including IBM network processor, IBM Cell processor, PRISM, IBM POWER 7, and POWER 8, etc. She was the initiator of mobile infrastructure on cloud from 2007 which has become the Network Function Virtualization today. She led IBM team built up the FIRST optimized cloud for 4G mobile infrastructure, and successfully demonstrated in ITU, Mobile World Congress, etc. She is the founder of SuperVessel cloud to support OpenPOWER research and development in industry. She herself has more than 50 patents granted worldwide and publications in top conferences and journals.