|Evaluating the performance of Space Plasma Simulations using FPGA's|
|Ben Popoola - University of Sussex|
Paul Gough - University of Sussex
This paper analyses the performance of a custom compute machine, that performs electrostatic plasma simulations, using Field Programmable Gate Array's (FPGAs). Although FPGA's run at slower clock speeds than their off-the-shelf counterparts, the processing power lost in the reduced number of clock cycles per second is quickly recovered in the high degree of spatial parallelism that is achievable within the devices. We describe the development of the architecture of the machine and its support for the C-programming language via the use of a cross-compiler. Results are presented and a discussion is given on the constraints of FPGAs in particular and the hardware design process in general.