Intel® Hyperflex™ Architecture High-Performance Design Handbook

ID 683353
Date 12/08/2023
Document Table of Contents

5.2.4. Loops

A loop is a feedback path in a circuit. When a circuit is heavily pipelined, loops are often a limiting reason to increasing design fMAX through register retiming. A loop may be very short, containing only a single register or much longer, containing dozens of registers and combinational logic clouds. A register in a divide-by-two configuration is a short loop.

Figure 111. Simple Loop

When the critical chain is a feedback loop, register retiming cannot change the number of registers in a loop without changing functionality. Registers can retime around a loop without changing functionality, but adding registers to the loop changes functionality. To explore performance gains, the Fast Forward Compile process adds registers at particular boundaries of the circuit, such as clock domain boundaries.

Figure 112. FIFO Flow Control LoopIn a FIFO flow control loop, upstream processing stops when the FIFO is full, and downstream processing stops when the FIFO is empty.
Figure 113. Counter and Accumulator LoopIn a counter and accumulator loop, a register's new value depends on the old value. This includes variants like LFSRs (linear feedback shift register) and gray code counters.
Figure 114. State Machine LoopIn a state machine loop, the next state depends on the current state of the circuit.
Figure 115. Reset Circuit LoopReset circuit loops include monitoring logic to reset on an error condition.

Use loops to save area through hardware re-use. Components that you re-use over several cycles typically involve loops. Such components include CRC calculations, filters, floating point dividers, and word aligners. Closed loop feedback designs, such as IIR filters and automatic gain control for transmitter power in remote radiohead designs, also use loops.