headshot of Ang Li

Speaker: Ang Li

Date: Monday, December 5th, 2022

Time: 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Location: Zoom only ( https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/83601796118 )

Host: Jonathan Balkind

Title: Efficient, Programmable, and Manufacturable Hardware: The Case for Synthesizable FPGAs


Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are being used in a fast-growing range of scenarios like cloud-scale AI engines and reconfigurable accelerators, while heterogeneous CPU-FPGA systems are being tapped as a possible way to mitigate the challenges posed by the end of Moore’s Law. This growth in diverse use cases has fueled the need to customize FPGA architectures for particular applications or application domains. If FPGAs are to become a universal computing fabric like general-purpose processors, they must be technology-agnostic, flexible in architecture, and adaptable to physical design constraints.

This talk will give an overview of Princeton Reconfigurable Gate Array (PRGA), an open-source framework for building customized, synthesizable FPGAs with bespoke, RTL-to-bitstream toolchains. I will present three prototype system-on-chip (SoC) tape-outs that each integrate a different PRGA instance and pose a unique challenge to architecture-VLSI co-design. We will also briefly discuss several novel uses of FPGAs, including fine-grained, manycore-eFPGA integration and the idea of using reconfigurable fabric as the substrate for domain-specialized hardware.

Ang Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Princeton University, advised by Prof. David Wentzlaff. He received B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2016 and M.A. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2018. He is interested in all aspects of computer architecture and VLSI design, especially heterogeneous and reconfigurable architectures. He is an experienced chip builder and an active contributor to multiple open-source projects. He is on the academic job market at the time of the talk.