Thermal characterization and optimization in platform FPGAs

Priya Sundararajan, Aman Gayasen, N. Vijaykrishnan, T. Tuan

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

23 Scopus citations


Increasing power densities in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have made them susceptible to thermal problems. The advent of platform FPGAs has further exacerbated the problems by increasing the power density variations on the FPGA fabric. Therefore, we need to characterize the die temperature of platform FPGAs. In this paper, we first estimate the temperature distribution within a Virtex-4 FPGA by feeding the block power numbers in an architecture-level temperature simulator calibrated to reflect a real FPGA package. We analyze the impact of different hard-wired blocks on the temperature profile, and observe that they introduce intra-die variation in temperature of up to 20°C. Next, we evaluate the influence of placement on temperature. Our experiments indicate a decrease in peak temperature by changing the placement of hard blocks, especially the high-speed transceivers. We further propose an iterative placement technique to reduce the peak temperature, and apply it on real designs. Finally, we propose alternate organizations of the hard blocks in the FPGA fabric to reduce temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2006 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2006Nov 9 2006

Publication series

NameIEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, Digest of Technical Papers, ICCAD
ISSN (Print)1092-3152


Other2006 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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