xcl_reqd_pipe_depth - 2021.2 English

Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation: Application Acceleration Development (UG1393)

Document ID
English (United States)
Release Date
2021.2 English


Important: Pipes must be declared in lower case alphanumerics. printf() is also not supported with variables used in pipes.

The OpenCL framework 2.0 specification introduces a new memory object called pipe. A pipe stores data organized as a FIFO. Pipes can be used to stream data from one kernel to another inside the FPGA without using the external memory, which greatly improves the overall system latency.

In the Vitis core development kit, pipes must be statically defined outside of all kernel functions. The depth of a pipe must be specified by using the XCL_REQD_PIPE_DEPTH attribute in the pipe declaration:
pipe int p0 __attribute__((xcl_reqd_pipe_depth(512)));

Pipes can only be accessed using standard OpenCL read_pipe() and write_pipe() built-in functions in non-blocking mode, or using Xilinx-extended read_pipe_block() and write_pipe_block() functions in blocking mode.

Important: Vitis HLS only supports blocking mode for reading and writing pipes. The non-block read_pipe/write_block functions are not supported.
Important: A given pipe can have one and only one producer and consumer in different kernels.

Pipe objects are not accessible from the host CPU. The status of pipes can be queried using OpenCL get_pipe_num_packets() and get_pipe_max_packets() built-in functions. For more details on these built-in functions, see The OpenCL C Specification from Khronos OpenCL Working Group.


This attribute must be assigned at the declaration of the pipe object:

pipe int <id> __attribute__((xcl_reqd_pipe_depth(<n>)));


Specifies an identifier for the pipe, which must consist of lower-case alphanumerics. For example, <infifo1> not <inFifo1>.
Specifies the depth of the pipe. Valid depth values are 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, 32768.


The following is the dataflow_pipes_ocl example from Xilinx GitHub that use pipes to pass data from one processing stage to the next using blocking read_pipe_block() and write_pipe_block() functions:

pipe int p0 __attribute__((xcl_reqd_pipe_depth(32)));
pipe int p1 __attribute__((xcl_reqd_pipe_depth(32)));
// Input Stage Kernel : Read Data from Global Memory and write into Pipe P0
kernel __attribute__ ((reqd_work_group_size(1, 1, 1)))
void input_stage(__global int *input, int size)
mem_rd: for (int i = 0 ; i < size ; i++)
//blocking Write command to pipe P0
write_pipe_block(p0, &input[i]);
// Adder Stage Kernel: Read Input data from Pipe P0 and write the result
// into Pipe P1
kernel __attribute__ ((reqd_work_group_size(1, 1, 1)))
void adder_stage(int inc, int size)
execute: for(int i = 0 ; i < size ; i++)
int input_data, output_data;
//blocking read command to Pipe P0
read_pipe_block(p0, &input_data);
output_data = input_data + inc;
//blocking write command to Pipe P1
write_pipe_block(p1, &output_data);
// Output Stage Kernel: Read result from Pipe P1 and write the result to 
// Global Memory
kernel __attribute__ ((reqd_work_group_size(1, 1, 1)))
void output_stage(__global int *output, int size)
mem_wr: for (int i = 0 ; i < size ; i++)
//blocking read command to Pipe P1
read_pipe_block(p1, &output[i]);