Wormhole Run-time Reconfiguration

Ray Bittner and Peter Athanas

Abstract

Configurable Computing Machines (CCMs) are an emerging class of computing platform which provide the computational performance benefits of ASICs, yet retain the flexibility and rapid reconfigurability of general purpose microprocessors. In these platforms, computational "hardware" is essentially swapped in and out of the platform as needed, much like paging in virtual memory systems. For an efficient platform, the swapping of the computational hardware (referred to as Run-Time Reconfiguration, or RTR) must be rapid. Thus far, the means of altering the configuration of CCMs has relied on global control strategies that present a fundamental bottleneck to the potential bandwidth of configuration information flowing into the CCM. Wormhole Run-time Reconfiguration is presented as a distributed control methodology that is applicable not only to the problem of device-level CCM reconfiguration, but to system-wide concurrent computing as a whole. The Virginia Tech Colt/Stallion integrated circuits are computational FPGAs incorporating Wormhole RTR concepts, and are discussed as a case study.

Details

Publication typeProceedings
Published inProceedings of the 1997 ACM Fifth International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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