ASPLOS 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak (see statement), therefore this tutorial will no longer take place. You can find slides from the MICRO 2019 version of this tutorial here.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. What are FireSim and Chipyard?
  3. Tutorial Schedule
  4. Attendee Logistics/Requirements
  5. Registration
  6. Speakers
  7. Sponsors


We’re running a hands-on full-day tutorial on FireSim and Chipyard at ASPLOS 2020!

We’ll be providing access to AWS EC2 F1 instances to attendees free-of-charge to interactively follow the tutorial, thanks to the generosity of AWS and Xilinx!

Attendees will be able to customize an industry and silicon-proven RISC-V microprocessor design, run their own high-performance FPGA-accelerated simulations of their design in the cloud, and learn how to push their design to silicon, guided by the FireSim and Chipyard developers. See the tentative schedule below for more details.

What are FireSim and Chipyard?

Chipyard is a one-stop shop for generating complex RISC-V SoCs, including in-order and out-of-order processors, uncore components, vector co-processors, and other kinds of accelerators. Users can customize any component of the system and push it through automated ASIC flows (e.g. Hammer), software simulation (e.g. Verilator and VCS), and FPGA-accelerated simulation flows (e.g. FireSim) to enable agile end-to-end computer architecture research with a single re-usable toolchain.

FireSim is an open-source FPGA-accelerated simulation framework that can simulate designs built in Chipyard and deploy them to cloud FPGAs, running complex software stacks (e.g. Linux + applications) at 100s of MHz. FireSim simulations exactly and deterministically model Chipyard designs, matching cycle-by-cycle bit-by-bit behavior of the design as if it were taped out in silicon. I/Os like DRAM, UART, and Ethernet are also modeled cycle-accurately, allowing users to model complex systems, including large clusters, beyond the capabilities of test-chips.

Together, Chipyard and FireSim bridge the gap between open-hardware and architecture research, automating many common tasks of architecture and VLSI researchers in a single, easy-to-use platform.

Tutorial Schedule

Below is a tentative schedule for the tutorial. Slide PDFs will be available closer to the tutorial day. Visit the MICRO 2019 tutorial page to see slides from a previous tutorial.

Time Session Name Speaker Slides
8:30am Introduction/Overview, Amazon EC2 Instance Setup, Logistics Sagar Karandikar
8:50am Chipyard Basics Jerry Zhao, Howard Mao
9:30am Building Custom RISC-V SoCs in Chipyard Jerry Zhao, Howard Mao
10:00am Coffee Break    
10:30am Building Custom RISC-V SoCs in Chipyard (continued) Jerry Zhao, Howard Mao
11:00am Integrating Verilog Designs in Chipyard Jerry Zhao, Howard Mao
11:30am FireSim Introduction Sagar Karandikar
12:00pm Lunch    
2:00pm FireSim Intro Recap Sagar Karandikar
2:15pm Building Hardware Designs in FireSim Sagar Karandikar
2:45pm Building Software Workloads with FireMarshal Albert Ou
3:15pm Running a FireSim Simulation: Password Cracking on a RISC-V SoC with a SHA-3 Accelerator and Linux Albert Ou
4:00pm Coffee Break    
4:30pm Debugging and Profiling FireSim-Simulated Designs Sagar Karandikar
5:10pm Simulating a Networked RISC-V Cluster at FPGA-speeds with FireSim Alon Amid
5:50pm Hammer VLSI Flow Alon Amid
6:20pm Conclusion Alon Amid
6:30pm End of Tutorial    

Attendee Logistics/Requirements

No prior experience with FireSim/Chipyard/RISC-V/Chisel is necessary. To follow along with the tutorial on the EC2 instances we provide, users will need to bring a laptop with an ssh client installed. Users may want to consider installing mosh (, a reliable ssh-client replacement. Our EC2 instances will also support connecting via mosh.


To attend the tutorial, you must register for ASPLOS 2020. Please make sure you select the FireSim and Chipyard tutorial on the registration form, so we can provision a sufficient number of EC2 instances for attendees.


Stay tuned!

We will continue to update this page as the tutorial is finalized. Join the FireSim mailing list and follow the FireSim Twitter account to stay up-to-date as we finalize the tutorial!


Thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support in running this tutorial:

Amazon Web Services Logo Xilinx Logo