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Proceedings Paper

Reconfigurable processor employing optical channels
Author(s): Majd F. Sakr; Steven Peter Levitan; C. Lee Giles; Donald M. Chiarulli
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Paper Abstract

Recontigurable computing architectures are gaining popularity as replacements for general purpose architectures in many high performance applications. Reconfigurable systems can take advantage of deep computational pipelines, perform concurrent execution and are inherently data flow in nature. Many applications can exploit these systems, such as genomic sequence scanning. Fast Fourier Transform, text searching. and computer vision. Current research efforts are applying reconfigurable computing to perform automatic target recognition, real-time image processing, and hardware implementation of neural networks. However, these architectures suffer from a trade off between slow reconfiguration times versus low logic gate densit'v when used to support large computations. This problem is due to the fact that configuration memory typically resides off-chip and reconfiguration is performed serially. Recent approaches4 solve this problem by adding an on-chip configuration cache that provides faster reconfiguration at the cost of die area. That is, the area overhead of the configuration cache gives a low total logic gate density for the architecture. These disadvantages limit the performance, and therefore the applicability of current reconfigurable systems. In this paper. a reconfigurable processor architecture is proposed that overcomes the limitations discussed above by using high bandwidth optical channels. The optical channels allow fast parallel loading of the reconfiguration control word as well as the migration of the configuration cache off-chip. The migration of configuration cache allows better utilization of the die area for reconfigurable processing elements. Further, it is possible to implement the optical detectors directly in silicon, hich does not require significant alteration of the fabrication processes. These advantages make the optically reconfigurable architecture competitive for high performance applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 1998
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 3490, Optics in Computing '98, (22 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308878
Show Author Affiliations
Majd F. Sakr, Univ. of Pittsburgh (USA) and NEC Research Institute (United States)
Steven Peter Levitan, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
C. Lee Giles, NEC Research Institute (United States)
Donald M. Chiarulli, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3490:
Optics in Computing '98
Pierre H. Chavel; David A. B. Miller; Hugo Thienpont, Editor(s)

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