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Partially reconfigurable systems are promising computing platforms for streaming applications, which demand both hardware efficiency and reconfigurable flexibility. To realize the full potential of these systems, a streaming-based partially reconfigurable architecture and unified software/hardware multithreaded programming model (SPREAD) is presented in this paper. SPREAD is a reconfigurable architecture with a unified software/hardware thread interface and high throughput point-to-point streaming structure. It supports dynamic computing resource allocation, runtime software/hardware switching, and streaming-based multithreaded management at the operating system level. SPREAD is designed to provide programmers of streaming applications with a unified view of threads, allowing them to exploit thread, data, and pipeline parallelism; it enhances hardware efficiency while simplifying the development of streaming applications for partially reconfigurable systems. Experimental results targeting cryptography applications demonstrate the feasibility and superior performance of SPREAD. Moreover, the parallelized Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Data Encryption Standard (DES), and Triple DES (3DES) hardware threads on field-programmable gate arrays show 1.61-4.59 times higher power efficiency than their implementations on state-of-the-art graphics processing units.