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From dynamic reconfiguration to self-reconfiguration: Invasive algorithms and architectures

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1 Author(s)
Teich, J. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany

In the first part of this invited keynote talk, highlights of a research initiative on dynamically reconfigurable computing systems that has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within its Priority Programme (Schwerpunktprogramm) 1148 from 2003 to 2009 will be presented To make dynamic reconfigurable computing become a reality, this joint nation-wide research initiative bundled multiple projects and, involved at times up to 50 researchers working in the topic and including as well fine grain as coarse grain reconfigurable computing. Here, we try to summarize the golden fruits, major achievements and biggest milestones of this joint research initiative that has enabled more than 100 person years of research work, and more than 20 students were able to defend a PhD theses based on research performed in this initiative on making dynamically reconfigurable computing become a reality. Whereas this first part of the talk reflects our research achievements on reconfigurable computing systems of the past, the second part of the talk is rather visionary and tries to foresee needs and applications for reconfigurability in architectures we might see in ten years from now in the future: If computing platforms may exploit dynamic resource reconfigurations efficiently, how can such capabilities be used to solve problems encountered when designing future multi-billion transistor devices which have enough chip area to integrate even 100-1000 full processor cores as basic blocks? One remedy to cope with the predicted problems of increasing probabilities and susceptibility to faults, leakage and power management, resource efficiency, timing, application concurrency, and mapping complexity might be self-organization and self-configuration: With the term invasive algorithms and invasive architectures, we envision that applications mapped to a reconfigurable SoC platform might map and configure themselves to a certain extent based on the temporal state and availability of- resources, computing demands during the execution and other state information of the resources (e.g., temperature, faultiness, resource usage, permissions, etc.) We will show that invasive computing, however, has to lead also to a new way of application development including algorithm design, language implementation and compilation tools. The expected benefits of such architectures allowing applications to spread their computations on resources and later free them again decentrally by themselves at run-time sound promising, but the overheads will need to be evaluated and traded-off. In particular, such computing paradigm would require to develop new reconfigurable system architectures hosting a mixture of fine (e.g., field-programmable) and coarse (i.e., software-programmable) grain cores in future SoC devices.

Published in:

Field-Programmable Technology, 2009. FPT 2009. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-11 Dec. 2009