Association for Computing Machinery
When are FPGAs more energy efficient than processors? This question is complicated by technology factors and the wide range of application characteristics that can be exploited to minimize energy. Using a wire-dominated energy model to estimate the absolute energy required for programmable computations, the authors determine when spatially organized programmable computations (FPGAs) require less energy than temporally organized programmable computations (processors). The point of crossover will depend on the metal layers available, the locality, the SIMD wordwidth regularity, and the compactness of the instructions.