• MyExperience survey

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Friday 06 August 2021, 05:28:58 PM.

    If you have not done so yet, please complete a MyExperience survey for COMP4601. So far we have 14 responses, which is a bit low for statistically significant conclusions to be drawn.


  • Please add final presentations to your project wikis!

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Wednesday 04 August 2021, 05:42:17 PM.

    Hi all,

    Would you please add your final presentation slides to your project wikis? I will take a look at these together with your demo videos and final reports....

    Also, if you would please complete your myExperience surveys before Friday evening, that would be greatly appreciated. I understand it is a bit of a pain, but getting feedback after major revision to a course is very helpful to fix up anything that isn't working well.

    Good luck with finishing everything off for COMP4601 !!

    All the best, Oliver

  • Week 10 Project Presentations

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Friday 30 July 2021, 02:55:02 PM, last modified Wednesday 04 August 2021, 09:36:19 AM.

    Hi all

    Next week is the final week for the course! As such, your final project reports and demo videos are due late Friday afternoon. Before that, I'm looking forward to your presentations during the Wednesday/Thursday lab sessions. I propose the following schedule for the presentations. Please let me know if the arrangement does not work for you. Please post your slides to your project's entry on the course wiki. Thanks... Oliver

    Team Schedule
    Yellow W1
    String W2
    Rijndael W3
    Three W4
    FashionCNN W5
    SORTed W6
    LackOne W7
    De(com)pression T2
    Just another CNN T3
    QuickMiners T5
    Blue T6
    Forward Thinkers T7

  • Week 8 Seminars

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Tuesday 20 July 2021, 02:29:29 PM.

    We have a full session of 4 seminars on tomorrow. Please therefore show up promptly at 11am Sydney time as we will start as soon as we can.

    In reviewing the seminar evaluations that were submitted last week I noticed a couple of things:

    1. I had to chase some people as late as Monday. From now on seminar evaluation forms are due by midnight Friday of the week the seminar was held. If your form is late, I will not chase you for it.
    2. Some people submit a score of 5 for every person and every team. I expect you to use judgement as to what is great and what is less good - indiscriminate scoring reflects poorly on you.

    See you tomorrow.

  • handin05 marks and feedback available

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Monday 19 July 2021, 11:42:27 AM.

    Apologies for the delay in returning these!

  • Review of project plan presentations

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Thursday 15 July 2021, 07:32:55 PM, last modified Thursday 15 July 2021, 07:35:32 PM.

    Thanks to all of you for an interesting set of sessions listening to your project plan presentations! I was surprised how well you have managed the relatively short period of time you've had to work on the projects and the challenges posed by collaborating online. Please keep up the great effort!

    I felt I should provide a little guidance to help all of us given what we discussed:

    1. Would you please submit your project plan presentation slides using the wiki page describing your project. A PDF copy is fine.
    2. While there may be one or two groups who will attempt a ZedBoard implementation, most of you are likely to stick with software executing on an x86 machine compared with estimates of the performance and utilisation of code and directives processed by Vivado HLS. Some of you will need more resources than are available on the Zynq 7020 device provided by the ZedBoard. You may use any device you have access to with the WebPack version of Vivado, but bear in mind that device cost is proportional to device size, and I'd therefore like you to finalise your projects with the smallest device you feel provides the best cost/performance trade-off. You should justify your choice of device if you target something larger than the xc7z020.
    3. Clarify for yourselves whether the problem you are working on should be assessed on the basis of throughput or execution time. For example, the CNN projects should be assessed on the basis of throughput, because ultimately, you want a design that processes the most input per unit time, whereas sorting is a problem for which the input size might vary, but for a given input size, it is the completion time that matters most. Irrespective of the metric you use, you need to determine how well the software version performs compared with the estimate of the hardware accelerated version. The unit of measure you should use is time. For throughput-based measurements, you are concerned with comparing the task iteration interval - for CNNs for example, once you know how many images can be processed per second, the reciprocal is the time/image which can be compared across implementations. For execution time comparisons, you are concerned with comparing task latencies - for sorting, this will vary depending upon the amount of data to sort, so you may wish to compare averages, or obtain a table that spans several orders of magnitude in dataset size. Finally, you will need to decide how to account for the data input/output. For a relatively tightly coupled CPU-FPGA device like the Zynq device used by the ZedBoard, the data transfer latency can be assumed to be some constant overhead plus a delay proportional to the amount of data transferred. A first-order approximation good enough for COMP4601 projects assumes you can transfer a 32-bit word every clock cycle of the FPGA , whereby the clock frequency is given by the achieved frequency of the HLS tool. If you wish to make a different assumption, you should justify it. (You should also be aware that authorities like lecturers aren't always right, so if you figure there is something wrong with their proclamations, feel free to use a different approach, but please justify it so that they can learn as well!) For a more detailed analysis of the transfer overheads on the ZedBoard, and only if you are really interested and have the time, you might want to take a look at this excellent and readable 4-page paper written by my former student Dr Alex Kroh.

    Good luck with your projects, and I am looking forward to hearing about your outcomes!

  • Seminars start this week (Week 7)

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Monday 12 July 2021, 04:43:45 PM.

    We move into the second phase of the course this week with the presentation of seminars commencing during the scheduled lecture period on Wednesdays from 11 am - 2 pm. This week we will have three seminars, on Datacentre Acceleration, Large-Scale Computation and Neural Network Accelerators.

    Executive summaries of each presentation will be posted on the Seminars page by Monday evening, and a preliminary version of the slides will be available by Tuesday evening. Course members who are not presenting are expected to attend, to contribute to a brief discussion of each topic, and to complete a seminar evaluation form . One form per seminar is to be submitted using the submission link accessible from the weekly set of topic references provided on the Seminars page.

  • Project Plan presentations and reports

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Monday 12 July 2021, 11:08:29 AM, last modified Tuesday 13 July 2021, 05:01:37 PM.

    Project Plan presentations are scheduled for this week. They will be held during the lab sessions at 3 - 6 pm Wednesday and 9 - 12 pm Thursday. The desired formats of (i) the presentation, and (ii) the written plan, are described in the Week 7 Project Plan and presentation entry of the Project Deliverables page.

    With 14 groups presenting, half have been allocated to the Wednesday session and the remaining half to the Thursday session. The session your group will be presenting in is indicated below. Please get in touch with me if the allocation won't work for your group. Would you also think of a name for your group and designate a spokesperson with whom I can communicate by email when necessary and let me know of your decision during your presentation. Thanks.

    Wednesday 14 July

    • Shih, Elton; Soon, Wei Leong; Zhong, Xukun
    • Nigrodhananda, Suphachabhar; Shang, Yuanzhi; Zhang, Xinpei
    • Phan, Quynh; Trinh, Khang; Young, Jasmine
    • Reitano, Braydon; Saucis, Edward; Watt, Sean
    • Wang, Yifan; Zhang, Youcheng; Zhang, Yunrui
    • Barnett, Ewan; Chen, Junkang; Jiang, Cheng
    • Agrawal, Rea; Bommena, Meghana; Willer, Elizabeth

    Thursday 15 July

    • Albaydani, Bassam Mohsen N; Litsas, George
    • Al-Haary, Muhammad; Sun, Hao; Yu, Alice
    • Florence, Adam; Laurente, Derrick; Low, Khye Ean
    • Alfalhi, Yazed Jalal F; Downing, Oscar; Li, Yuedong
    • Ge, Jiahao; Rosengarten, Daniel; Ye, William
    • Tang, Zhixin; Wang, Shuyi
    • Dawani, Yash; Wu, Wilson

  • handin04 marks and feedback available

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Saturday 03 July 2021, 03:31:43 PM.

    Please take feedback into account in preparing your submission for handin05.


  • handin03 marks and feedback available

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Friday 25 June 2021, 12:34:01 PM.

    Junning has put in a huge effort and finished the marking.

    Please contact Junning in the first instance for any clarification on your handin03 marks.

  • Reminder: Seminar topics announced

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Thursday 24 June 2021, 01:10:38 PM, last modified Tuesday 29 June 2021, 04:58:54 PM.

    The Seminars section of the course website has been released. Please read and follow the instructions provided in the overview section .

    Please select your preferred topic by completing the referenced Doodle Poll by 30 June .

    Seminars will be presented during the scheduled lecture period from Week 7 - Week 10.

  • Week 3 lab hand-in due 5pm today

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Monday 21 June 2021, 12:27:28 PM.

    Last week's hand-in is due at 5pm today.

    If you haven't told me who is in your project team yet nor which project you're working on, please do so as soon as you can.

  • New Lab/Project weightings - updated Outline & Week 3 hand-in specs

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Tuesday 15 June 2021, 03:48:03 PM.

    As forewarned, and in the absence of counter-suggestions, I have updated the weightings for the Week 3-5 lab hand-ins to 10% each and updated the spec for the Week 3 hand-in accordingly (please refresh to see spec marked "Modified 15/06/2021"). Given the increased weighting, I have extended the deadlines for the remaining 3 hand-ins: they will be due at 5pm on the Monday of the week following the lab in which they were worked upon.

    The final project reporting has been reduced in weighting. These changes have the overall effect of increasing the individual component of the mark to 65%, as reflected in the updated Course Outline.

  • Reminder that Week 2 hand-in is due today

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Friday 11 June 2021, 10:55:36 AM.

    Please remember that the hand-in for the Week 2 lab is due by 5pm today.

    Please consider the implications of the proposed changes to the assessment weightings for COMP4601 and let me know of any concerns.


  • Project details released

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Friday 11 June 2021, 10:42:05 AM.

    The COMP4601 project details have now been released. My apologies for the delay.

    Now is the time to read over the guidelines and requirements before finalising on your team and the project you wish to work on.

    Email me if you need help finding someone to work with - I will try to help.

    Please email me the name of your team members and the project you are planing to work on by Friday 18 June.

    I hope to have the 2021 seminar list ready next week.

  • Re-weighting lab hand-ins and projects

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Wednesday 09 June 2021, 05:24:08 PM.

    I'd like you to consider agreeing to re-weighting the number of marks allocated to labs and the project in COMP4601 because we are likely to spend about as much time working on labs this term as we are on projects and the scope of the projects is quite a bit less than in recent years.

    The current assessment for the course is outlined here .

    I think we should increase the weighting of the lab hand-ins to 35% and reduce the project weighting to 35%.

    So as not to disadvantage anyone, I propose keeping the mark for the first hand-in as 5% of the course mark. Subsequent hand-ins will be worth 10% rather than 5%, as they are weighted now.

    I propose reducing the weighting of the final project presentation, demonstration and report from 30% to 15%.

    I welcome any feedback on the proposal - either direct by email, or in the course forum.

    I will make a final decision by Tuesday afternoon next week.

  • Week 1, Thursday lab 9am - 12md

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Wednesday 02 June 2021, 05:03:21 PM.

    This Thursday is the last chance to get help with installing the Xilinx software and setting up your lab environment before labs proper start next week. Please come along tomorrow if you need help with your installation or completing Ch.2 of the Vivado HLS Tutorial.

  • Teams set up

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Monday 31 May 2021, 11:11:19 AM, last modified Monday 31 May 2021, 12:00:16 PM.

    Hello all & welcome to Week 1 of 21T2.

    A class has been set up on Teams, where you are invited to attend the first on-line, live lecture at 11am on Wednesday. This meeting will be recorded.

    The first lab session will take place on Teams at 3pm on Wednesday. This is primarily aimed at helping you set up your lab environment if you have not already done so - please refer to the instructions for setting up your lab environment . For the first 5 weeks of the course, the Thursday lab sessions repeat the content of the Wednesday lab sessions.

  • Welcome

    Posted by Oliver Diessel Tuesday 06 April 2021, 11:58:21 AM.

    Hello! Welcome to the 21T2 offering of COMP4601!

    The design task in 2021 will shift towards the use of high-level synthesis to implement FPGA-based accelerators. Since this direction is new to CSE, I am working on a revision of the lectures, labs and projects for the course. Please stay tuned for a revised course outline, and see you soon.

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