Intel® Hyperflex™ Architecture High-Performance Design Handbook

ID 683353
Date 10/04/2021

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Document Table of Contents Flow Control with FIFO Status Signals

High clock speeds require consideration when dealing with flow control signals. This consideration is particularly important with signals that gate a data path in multiple locations at the same time. For example, with clock enable or FIFO full or empty signals. Instead of working with immediate control signals, use a delayed signal. You can build a buffer within the FIFO block. The control signals indicate to the upstream data path that the path is almost full, leaving a few clock cycles for the upstream data to receive their gating signal. This approach alleviates timing closure difficulties on the control signals.

When you use FIFO full and empty signals, you must process these signals in one clock cycle to prevent overflow or underflow.

Figure 65. FIFO Flow Control LoopThe loop forms while reading control signals from the FIFO.

If you use an almost full or almost empty signal instead, you can add pipeline registers in the flow control loop. The lower the almost full threshold, and the higher the almost empty threshold, the more registers you can add to the signal.

Figure 66. Improved FIFO Flow Control Loop with Almost Full instead of Full FIFOThe following example shows two extra registers in the full control flow signal. After the FIFO generates the almost full flag, it takes two cycles for the signal to reach the data producer block. Two additional cycles are then required before the data sent stops arriving at the FIFO. This condition results in four cycles of latency. Anytime the almost full flag is asserted, the data producer can send 4 more words before the FIFO is actually full. Size the FIFO block to allow for proper storage of those extra valid data. The extra two pipeline registers in the control path help with routing, and enable higher speed than with traditional single-cycle FIFO control scheme.