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Accelerators are special purpose processors designed to speed up compute-intensive sections of applications. Two extreme endpoints in the spectrum of possible accelerators are FPGAs and GPUs, which can often achieve better performance than CPUs on certain workloads. FPGAs are highly customizable, while GPUs provide massive parallel execution resources and high memory bandwidth. Applications typically exhibit vastly different performance characteristics depending on the accelerator. This is an inherent problem attributable to architectural design, middleware support and programming style of the target platform.
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