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Efficient application representation for HASTE: Hybrid Architectures with a Single, Transformable Executable

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2 Author(s)
B. A. Levine ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; H. H. Schmit

Hybrid architectures, which are composed of a conventional processor closely coupled with reconfigurable logic, seem to combine the advantages of both types of hardware. They present some practical difficulties however. The interface between the processor and the reconfigurable logic is crucial to performance and is often difficult to implement well. Partitioning the application between the processor and logic is a difficult task, typically complicated by entirely different programming models, heterogeneous interfaces to external resources, and incompatible representations of applications. A separate executable must be produced and maintained for each type of hardware. An architecture called HASTE (Hybrid Architecture with a Single Transformable Executable) solves many of these difficulties. HASTE allows a single executable to represent an entire application, including portions that run on a reconfigurable fabric and portions that run on a sequential processor. This executable can execute in its entirety on the processor, but for best performance portions of the application that are mapped onto the fabric at run-time. The application representation is the key to making this concept viable, and several different ones were examined. Some used a relatively conventional register instruction set architecture (ISA) while others used a new queue-based ISA. AN ISA using a modified form of register addressing has been shown to have the best overall characteristics and should allow for the practical implementation of HASTE.

Published in:

Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, 2003. FCCM 2003. 11th Annual IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

9-11 April 2003