Intel® High Level Synthesis Compiler Pro Edition: Best Practices Guide

ID 683152
Date 12/13/2021

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5.9. Raise Loop II to Increase fMAX

If you have a loop that does not affect the throughput of your component, you can raise the initiation interval (II) of the loop with the ii pragma to try and increase the fMAX of your design.


Consider a case where your component has two distinct sequential pipelineable loops: an initialization loop with a low trip count and a processing loop with a high trip count and no loop-carried memory dependencies. In this case, the compiler does not know that the initialization loop has a much smaller impact on the overall throughput of your design. If possible, the compiler attempts to pipeline both loops with an II of 1.

Because the initialization loop has a loop-carried dependence, it will have a feedback path in the generated hardware. To achieve an II with such a feedback path, some clock frequency might be sacrificed. Depending on the feedback path in the main loop, the rest of your design could have run at a higher operating frequency.

If you specify #pragma ii 2 on the initialization loop, you tell the compiler that it can be less aggressive in optimizing II for this loop. Less aggressive optimization allows the compiler to pipeline the path limiting the fmax and could allow your overall component design to achieve a higher fmax.

The initialization loop takes longer to run with its new II. However, the decrease in the running time of the long-running loop due to higher fmax compensates for the increased length in running time of the initialization loop.