FAQ on Xputers - Xputer Lab Kaiserslautern - Reconfigurable Computing with KressArray

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Xputer - FAQ & FQA

Preface

The decline of the microprocessor: the tail wagging the dog. Add-on accelerators provide most of the throughput needed. We introduce innovative reconfigurable accelerators - soon catching the leading edge. Research and development of kressarray and reconfigurable accelerator coprocessor machines, as well as tools for: application development - compilation from C program sources - image processing - cellular phones - multimedia handies etc.

Key words:

Xputer, xputer,accelerator, ALU array, ASIP, CCM, co-design, codesign, compiler, computing, custom computing, data sequencing, data scheduling, embedded, embedded systems, FCCM, field-programmable, field-programmable ALU array, FPAA, FPGA, FPL, high performance, high performance computing, high performance computers, Kress, Kress Array, Kress Machine, machine paradigm, microprocessor, parallel, parallel computing, parallel computers, parallelizing compiler, partitioning, placement, rALU, reconfigurable, reconfigurable ALU, reconfigurable logic, routing, software-only accelerators, structural programming, supercomputers, supercomputing

Contents

Xputers: Introduction
The Impact of Xputers
Xputers: Software-Only Speed-up to Real-Time Operation


Xputer FAQ Directory (Detailed Contents)
Xputer - The History of the Xputer Lab

Introduction

Xputers and related application development have many novel facets. That's why it is fascinating to get introduced to Xputers.This is a collection of questions and answers about Xputers, about what an Xputer is, and, what it is not. How and where is it useful? Why is it important? Why does it have mainstream potential?

These FAQ pages have been set up to resolve your Xputer puzzle.Our goal is it, to steadily improve this list. Are you ready to help us? Please, give us feedback: hartenst@rhrh.uni-kl.de

The Impact of Xputers

The Xputer is a novel hardware platform ready to serve as an extremely powerful general purpose accelerator. It is based on a new non-von Neumann machine paradigm featuring dramatic speed-up factors compared to implementations on von Neumann processors.
In multimedia, high performance computer graphics, DSP and other computation-intensive application areas Xputers provide the potential to replace a whole bunch of specialized add-on hardware chips and boards by a single reconfigurable general purpose hardware platform.

Software-Only Speed-up to Real-Time Operation

Code which can be compiled and downloaded into RAM we call software. But also field-programmable logic like the data path of an Xputer or the circuits from Xilinx and other vendors is based on ("hidden") RAM (configuration RAM). Hardware has become soft. It is programmable by "structural software" (whereas von Neumann processors are programmable by "procedural software").
Intel's Indeo video technology achieved real-time video operation procedurally on an intel 486 CPU. But not only in multimedia there are always applications, which are so computation-intensive, that even the Pentium Pro 300 MHz or the P7 are by far not sufficiently powerful - due to the well-known weaknesses of the von Neumann paradigm.
For those applications a software-only speed-up to real-time can be achieved only by using an Xputer. An Xputer may be used stand-alone (e. g. as a controller in an embedded system) or as a co-processer in a PC or a work station (e.g. as a general purpose programmable accelerator co-processor to a host like the Intel Pentium).


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