f3 instances use Xilinx FPGAs, whereas f1 instances use Intel FPGAs. When you create an FPGA-accelerated instance, you can use an image that is pre-installed with the FPGA development environment. This topic describes the parameters of which you must take note when you create FPGA-accelerated instances.

Prerequisites

The following preparations are made to create an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance:
  1. Create an account and complete the account information.
  2. Alibaba Cloud provides a default virtual private cloud (VPC) in each region. If you do not want to use the default VPC, you can create a VPC and a vSwitch within the region in which to create the instance. For more information, see Create an IPv4 VPC.
  3. Alibaba Cloud provides a default security group in each region. If you do not want to use the default security group, you can create a security group in the region in which to create the instance. For more information, see Create a security group.
If you need other extended features, you must complete the corresponding preparations:
  • To bind an SSH key pair when you create a Linux instance, you must create the SSH key pair in the specified region. For more information, see Create an SSH key pair.
  • To add user data for the instance, you must first prepare user data. For more information, see Overview of ECS instance user data.
  • To associate an ECS instance with a Resource Access Management (RAM) role, you must create the RAM role, attach permission policies to the role, and then bind the role to the instance. For more information, see Bind an instance RAM role.

f3 instances must use an image that provides the Xilinx development environment. The image can only be shared to users by the FPGA as a service (FaaS) team. To obtain the image, submit a ticket.

f1 instances must use an image that provides the Intel development environment. The image can only be shared to users by the FaaS team. To obtain the image, submit a ticket.

Procedure

This section describes the parameters of which you must take note when you create FPGA-accelerated instances by using the ECS console. For information about other parameters, see Create an instance by using the wizard.

In addition to using the ECS console, you can use a variety of other methods to create FPGA-accelerated instances. For more information, see Provisioning methods of ECS instances.

  1. Go to the Custom Launch tab of the instance buy page in the ECS console.
  2. Complete the settings in the Basic Configurations step and click Next.
    The following table describes the parameters that you must configure in the Basic Configurations step.
    Parameter Description
    Region FPGA-accelerated instance types are available only within specific regions and zones. For more information, visit the ECS Instance Types Available for Each Region page.

    Set Billing Method and enter an instance type name to search for the instance type.

    Note The types of resources that you can purchase are determined by your instance quotas. For more information, see View and increase instance quotas.
    Instance Type
    • Set Architecture to Heterogeneous Computing.
    • Set Category to Compute Optimized Type with FPGA.
    Image
    • To create f3 instances, select Shared Image. and then select the image that was shared to you and pre-installed with the Xilinx development environment.
    • To create f1 instances, select Shared Image and then select the image that was shared to you and pre-installed with the Intel development environment.
      Note The images pre-installed with the Intel development environment are available only as shared images. These images are pre-installed with the development environments of Quartus 17.0, VCS 2017.3, and DCP SDK. You can view files of these development environments in the opt directory.
    Storage To create f3 instances, we recommend that you allocate a 200 GiB ultra disk as the system disk.
  3. Complete the settings in the Networking step and click Next.
    FPGA-accelerated instances can be deployed only in VPCs.
  4. Complete the settings in the System Configurations step and click Next.
  5. Complete the settings in the Grouping step and click Next.
  6. Check your configurations, read and select ECS Terms of Service and Product Terms of Service, and then click Create Order or Create Instance.

What to do next

After an f1 instance is created, you can perform the following steps to check whether the license is configured:
  1. Connect to the instance.
  2. Run the following command to check whether the license is configured:
    echo $LM_LICENSE_FILE

If the license is configured, the value of the LM_LICENSE_FILE variable is displayed. If the license is not configured, no value is displayed.

faascmd is required to use resources on the FaaS platform. For more information about faascmd, see faascmd overview.