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R3TOS: A Novel Reliable Reconfigurable Real-Time Operating System for Highly Adaptive, Efficient, and Dependable Computing on FPGAs

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8 Author(s)
Iturbe, X. ; Syst. Level Integration Res. Group, Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK ; Benkrid, K. ; Chuan Hong ; Ebrahim, A.
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Despite the clear potential of FPGAs to push the current power wall beyond what is possible with general-purpose processors, as well as to meet ever more exigent reliability requirements, the lack of standard tools and interfaces to develop reconfigurable applications limits FPGAs' user base and makes their programming not productive. R3TOS is our contribution to tackle this problem. It provides systematic OS support for FPGAs, allowing the exploitation of some of the most advanced capabilities of FPGA technology by inexperienced users. What makes R3TOS special is its nonconventional way of exploiting on-chip resources: These are used indistinguishably for carrying out either computation or communication tasks at different times. Indeed, R3TOS does not rely on any static infrastructure apart from its own core circuitry, which is constrained to a specific region within the FPGA where it is implemented. Thus, the rest of the device is kept free of obstacles, with the spare resources ready to be used as and whenever needed. At runtime, the hardware tasks are scheduled and allocated with the dual objective of improving computation density and circumventing damaged resources on the FPGA.

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Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:62 ,  Issue: 8 )