Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jack Jean (Advisor)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Reconfigurable machines can accelerate many applications by adapting to their needs through hardware reconfiguration. Partial reconfiguration allows the reconfiguration of a portion of a chip while the rest of the chip is busy working on tasks. Operating system models have been proposed for partially reconfigurable machines to handle the scheduling and placement of tasks. They are called OS4RC in this dissertation. The main goal of this research is to address some problems that come from the gap between OS4RC and existing chip architectures and the gap between OS4RC models and practical applications. Some existing OS4RC models are based on an impractical assumption that there is no data exchange channel between IP (Intellectual Property) circuits residing on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chip and between an IP circuit and FPGA I/O pins. For models that do not have such an assumption, their inter-IP communication channels have severe drawbacks. Those channels do not work well with 2-D partial reconfiguration. They are not suitable for intensive data stream processing. And frequently they are very complicated to design and very expensive. To address these problems, a new chip architecture that can better support inter-IP and IP-I/O communication is proposed and a corresponding OS4RC kernel is then specified. The proposed FPGA architecture is based on an array of clusters of configurable logic blocks, with each cluster serving as a partial reconfiguration unit, and a mesh of segmented buses that provides inter-IP and IP-I/O communication channels. The proposed OS4RC kernel takes care of the scheduling, placement, and routing of circuits under the constraints of the proposed architecture. Features of the new architecture in turns reduce the kernel execution times and enable the runtime scheduling, placement and routing. The area cost and the configuration memory size of the new chip architecture are calculated and analyzed. And the efficiency of the OS4RC kernel is evaluated via simulation using three different task models.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded