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Hardware/software co-design for virtual machines

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3 Author(s)
K. B. Kent ; Fac. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada ; M. Serra ; N. Horspool

Hardware/software co-design and (re)configurable computing with field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are used to create a highly efficient implementation of the Java virtual machine (JVM). Guidelines are provided for applying a general hardware/software co-design process to virtual machines, as are algorithms for context switching between the hardware and software partitions. The advantages of using co-design as an implementation approach for virtual machines are assessed using several benchmarks applied to the implemented co-design of the JVM. It is shown that significant performance improvements are achievable with appropriate architectural and co-design choices. The co-designed JVM could be a cost-effective solution for use in situations where the usual methods of virtual machine acceleration are inappropriate.

Published in:

IEE Proceedings - Computers and Digital Techniques  (Volume:152 ,  Issue: 5 )