FAQ on Xputers - Xputer Lab Kaiserslautern - Reconfigurable Computing with KressArray
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The History of the Xputer Lab

Contents

Thou shalt not propose things really new!
You don't get grants, if you propose something really new
Should we have asked Dan Gajski?
"This is the only really new thing I have seen for quite a time"
Acceptance is growing
The History of Xputers

Thou shalt not propose things really new!

(This at least holds for academic research funding in my country.)

 

You don't get grants, if you propose something really new.

As long as we did main stream research, my team has received grants totaling several millions of US Dollars: from the CEC (Commision of the EU), from the BMFT (Federal Ministry of Technology), from the DFG (German National Science Foundation), and from Industry. Also our papers about these main stream subjects have been well accepted by reviewers, editors, program committees, and, papers quoting us.
But this has suddenly changed, as soon as we have started publishing about Xputers in the late eighties. All submitted papers have been rejected at that time. Soon we have become aware, that we have been initializing a novel R&D scene, so that reviewers normally could not yet have any background about it. But anonymous reviewers do not ask the FAQ.

Should we have asked Dan Gajski?

But his famous dinner speech at Brighton has not have been held at that time. But we did not consider to start a new professional magazine, so that we would have been our own reviewers und could turn down other submissions. We also did not launch a new conference series. So we started converting prefaces and introductions into mini tutorials for answering FAQ. But some reviewers felt insulted about that: "we are no idiots!". So we often got controverse ratings: one reviewer said "reject", and the other wrote "fascinating paper". In most such cases the paper has been accepted. A paper submitted to DAC had been turned down. Still unpublished we submitted a version of that paper elsewhere half a year later, where we received the best paper award for it.


Reasonable people do not try to shape the world to fit to their wishes. 
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world as it is. Breakthroughs
of innovations can be achieved only by unreasonable people.   
stolen from George Bernhard Shaw

Acceptance is growing steadily

During these times we have learnt a lot about FAQ and FQA on Xputers, Platforms, and Applications. Since the end of 1995 our acceptance problems seem to be solved. Meanwhile our papers and presentations are very well accepted and we receive increasingly encouraging massive feedback at meetings, by e-mail and other channels, and now also by papers quoting us. We no more feel like exotic birds, as we did the years before. Not only the R&D scenes of parallel computing are in a crisis. People become more and more aware, that hardware, also reconfigurable hardware, and software are alternatives. More and more applications people do not view anymore the hardware as a kind of submarine, a more or less invisible underlying procedural platform. The von Neumann paradigm could loose its monopoly. Will there be a new main stream? Could the xputer paradigm trigger a new main stream? In multimedia? In DSP? In embedded systems? Or elsewhere?

The History of Xputers

The history of Xputers is a different story. The evolution of the Xputer, of its architectures, and, on its components is summarized on special pages on Xputer history.

This is the only really new thing I have seen for quite a time.      
      
letter by ACM fellow David Parnas, back home from Kaiserslautern [X]

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