To truly exploit FPGAs for rapid turn-around development and prototyping, placement times must be reduced to seconds; late-bound, reconfigurable computing applications may demand placement times as short as microseconds. In this paper, we show how a systolic structure can accelerate placement by assigning one processing element to each possible location for an FPGA LUT from a design netlist. We demonstrate that our technique approaches the same quality point as traditional simulated annealing as measured by a simple linear wirelength metric. Experimental results look ahead to compare quality against VPR's fast placer when considering the minimum channel width required to route as the primary optimization criteria. Preliminary results from an FPGA implementation show the feasibility of accelerating simulated annealing by three orders of magnitude using this approach. This means we can place the largest design in the University of Toronto's ``FPGA Placement and Routing Challenge'' in around 4ms.
Copyright 2003 ACM, Inc.