The Configware Page @ TU Kaiserslautern
Reconfigurable Computing pages @ TU Kaiserslautern
Why Reinvent Compting?
Pse, study Thomas Sterling's interview entitled: 'I Think We Will
Never Reach Zettaflops'. See
(mirror). Thomas Sterling takes us through
some of the most critical developments in high performance computing, explaining
why the transition to exascale is going to be very different than the ones in
the past. I agree. However, I believe, we will reach
Zetaflops --- by
these terms see http://flowware.net/#table1
To cope with the von Neumann syndrome, Reconfigurable Computing is an inevitable ingredient in future low power high performance computing systems. See xputer.de/CAE.pdf
Reconfigurable Computing (RC) pages @ TU Kaiserslautern
These Reconfigurable Computing pages are about a route to Reinvent Compting. This term is not new. See the keynote by Burton Smith (former Cray CTO).
Why Reinvent Compting? Pse, study Thomas Sterling's interview entitled: 'I Think We Will Never Reach Zettaflops'. See HPCwire. Thomas Sterling takes us through some of the most critical developments in high performance computing, explaining why the transition to exascale is going to be very different than the ones in the past. I agree. However, I believe, we will reach Zetaflops --- by Reconfigurable Computing.
What is Configware ?
Because of the programming crisis and the power wall we have to reinvent computing. The traditional de facto monopoly of the instruction-stream-only mind set is obsolete. We have to integrate more programming sources than only software. Configware is one of the inevitable additional program sources. We cannot abvoid to generalize "software engineering" into multi-paradigm "program engineering" based on 3 different kinds of sources: software, configware, and, flowware. Nick Tredennick`s following classification scheme illustrates the history of computing ending with this triple-paradigm situation now becoming more and more domiinant.
We have to be prepared to cope with heterogeneous systems including all these paradigms within a single system. We have to reinvent computing and its curricula to educate programmers being able to live with such mixed-paradigm systems.
Configware is a programming source completely different from software.
Because of the coincidence of several disruptive developments we need to Reinvent Computing  by distinguishing 3 differenc programming sources: Software, Flowware, and, Configware. We cannot afford any more the CPU-centric, i. e. instruction-stream-centric Software-centric Aristotelian world model of computing. We are forced to go toward heterogeneous computing systems based on a Kopernican World model of Computing (Figure A) . We urgently need the Generalization of Software Eingineering (SE) into Program Engineering (PE) which interlaces two machine paradigms:
By migration of applications from software to configware/flowware massive speed-up factors and power saving factors can be obtained . We also need a third area: Configware Engineering (CE). See  -  and fig. A
Fig. 1. Speed-up factors obtained from CPU to FOGA migration
Program Engineering (PE) education has to replace Software Engineering (SE) education because programming heterogeneous systems requires a mix of skills from all three side of the PE world (Fig. A), i. e. even also from Configware Engineering (CE). By migration of an application from SE to FE / CE, for instance, a different algorithm may be needed .
Fig. 2. Generalization of software enginering into program enginering.
|Search Google (for the number of
hits see the line " Results")
Bing (for the number of hits see
the line " Results")
|RL FPGA | "Reconfigurable Computing" | FPGA & "oil and gas" | FPGA & "automotive" | FPGA & "medical" | FPGA & "chemical" | FPGA & "bio" | FPGA & "defense" | FPGA & "physics" | FPGA & "molecular" | FPGA & "supercomputing" | FPGA & "HPC" | FPGA & "high performance computing" | GAG generic address generator | von Neumann syndrome | Map-oriented Machine | Map-oriented Programming Language | PISA design rule check | Xputer paradigm | hardware description language KARL |||FPGA | "Reconfigurable Computing" | FPGA & "oil" | FPGA & "gas" | FPGA & "automotive" | FPGA & "medical" | FPGA & "chemical" | FPGA & "bio" | FPGA & "defense" | FPGA & "physics" | FPGA & "molecular" | FPGA & "supercomputing" | FPGA & "HPC" | FPGA & "high performance computing" | GAG generic address generator | von Neumann syndrome | Map-oriented Machine | Map-oriented Programming Language | PISA design rule check | Xputer paradigm | hardware description language KARL ||
Morphware ("soft" Hardware)
Reconfigurable "hardware" is not really
like classical hardware. It can be re-configured by structural code
code) to be downloaded into the "hidden" RAM
of such Morphware. Such structural code is fundamentally different from
(classical) Software. Programming such reconfigurable platforms
instead. We may distinguish FPGAs
(fine-grained morphware) from reconfigurable Data Path Arrays (rDPAs:
coarse-grained morphware): configured pipe networks.
Configware versus Software
Configware versus Software means
Programming versus Structural Programming (see fig. 1).
Procedural programming of
processor hardware by Software means
in Time. I. e. the software code generated by a software
program is an instruction execution schedule.
Fig. 3: Software Compilation vs. Configware Compilation.
Computing in space allows massive
parallelism, so that Morphware may be by orders of magnitude
powerful than computing on classical processors, i. e. by computing in
time. Compared to specialized hardwired ASIC hardware, morphware usage
is highly flexible by reconfigurability.
also means a fundamental change of the business model: special ASIC
functionality is determined at vendor's site, whereas Morphware
can be defined and even upgraded later at the customer's site. This
shorter time to market, as well as product longevity.
Configware Industry Success Story
Industry is emerging as
a counterpart to Software Industry. (Because this new Industry
spinning off EDA industry, some people say "soft IP cores" instead of
The application of both is RAM-based: that of Software
of Configware. Being RAM-based,
is heading toward a success story being
as known from Software Industry.
 Burton Smith (keynote): Reinventing Computing; LACSI Symposium 2006, Santa Fe, NM, USA, http://www.cct.lsu.edu/~estrabd/LACSI2006/Smith.pdf
 R. Hartenstein: The Grand Challenge To Reinvent Computing - A new World Model of Computing; CSBC_2010 - XXX Congresso da Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, July 20 - 23, 2010, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil http://www.inf.pucminas.br/sbc2010/anais/pdf/semish/st03_02.pdf
 R. Hartenstein, A. G. Hirschbiel, M. Weber: MOM-map-oriented machine-a partly custom-designed architecture compared to standard hardware; Proc. IEEE CompEuro, Hamburg, Germany, May 1989
 R. Hartenstein (keynote): Reconfigurable Computing: boosting Software Education for the Multicore Era; IV Southern Programmable Logic Conference (SPL 2010), Porto Galinhas Beach, Pernambuco, Brasil, 24-26 March 2010
 Joao Cardoso, Michael Huebner (Editors): ―Reconfigurable Computing‖ Springer Verlag 2010
 Voros, Nikolaos; Rosti, Alberto; Hübner, Michael (Eds.): "Dynamic System Reconfiguration in Heterogeneous Platforms - The MORPHEUS Approach"; Springer Verlag, 2009
 Ch. Bobda: Introduction to Reconfigurable Computing - Architectures, Algorithms, Applications; Springer, 2007 ISBN 978-1-4020-6088-5
 R. Hartenstein: The von Neumann Syndrome; Stamatis Vassiliadis Memorial Symp., Sep 2007, Delft, NL
 M. Duhl: Incremental Development and Description of a Shuffle Sort Array Circuit in hyperKARL from the Algorithm Representation of the Bubble Sort Algorithm; Projektarbeit, Informatik, Univ. Kaiserslautern 1988
 Nick Tredennick: The Case for Reconfigurable Computing. In: Microprocessor Report. 10, Nr. 10, 5. August 1996, S. 25–27.
Some Evangelist's Links:
Xputer lab achievements
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