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The Morphware Page

http://morphware.net

TU Kaiserslautern

 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) homepageInstitut für Technik der Informationsverarbeitung (ITIV) des Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

 

Reconfigurable Computing 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.

 

   
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configware |

datastream |

flowware |

hardware |

morphware |

software |

For the relations between

these terms see http://flowware.net/#table1

 

 


What is Morphware ?

Morphware goes into every application

Search Google (for the number of hits see the line "Web ... Results" ) Search Yahoo (for the number of hits see the line "Search Results" )
"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" | "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" |
 

Hardware versus Configware

Traditional procedural computing systems consist of processor hardware and software running on it. Programming means downloading machine code into the RAM memory of the processor. Machine code is generated by compilers accepting high level programming languages. The RAM is the basis of the extreme flexibility of procedural processors: the secret of success of the software industry is RAM-based.
 

Morphware (Soft "Hardware)

Reconfigurable "hardware" is not really hard like classical hardware. It can be re-configured by structural code (configuration code) to be downloaded into the "hidden" RAM of such Morphware. Such structural code is fundamentally different from (classical) Software.  Programming such reconfigurable platforms needs Configware instead. For terminology see table no. 1, and more details.

Table no. 1: toward a consensus on basic terminology:

platform

program source running on it

 machine paradigm

hardware (not programmable)  (none)
morphware fine grain rGA (FPGA) configware
coarse grain rDPU, rDPA
reconfigurable data stream processor flowware & configware anti machine
data stream processor (hardwired) flowware
instruction stream processor software von Neumann machine

Acronyms: r = reconfigurable | FP = field-programmable | GA =  gate array |
DPU = DataPath Unit | DPA = DPU array |

Configware versus Software

Configware versus Software means Procedural Programming versus Structural Programming. Procedural programming of classical processor hardware by Software means Programming in Time. I. e. a procedural program is a schedule. Structural programming by Configware, however, means Programming in Space. That's why Configware versus Software means Computing in Space versus Computing in Time.
 

Morphware Benefit

Computing in space allows massive parallelism, so that Morphware may be by orders of magnitude more 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. This also means a fundamental change of the business model: special ASIC hardware functionality is determined at vendor's site, whereas Morphware functionality can be defined and even upgraded later at the customer's site. This provides shorter time to market, as well as product longevity.
 

Configware Industry Success Story

Currently a Configware Industry is emerging as a counterpart to Software Industry. (Because this new Industry is spinning off EDA industry, some people say "soft IP cores" instead of Configware). The application of both is RAM-based: that of Software and of Configware. Being RAM-based, Configware is heading toward a success story being similar as known from Software Industry.

The term "Morphware"

This term has been coined in the late 90ies by a participant of the Polymorphous Computing Architectures (PCA) program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

configware | morphware | flowware | data.streams | anti-machine | KressArray | Xputerswrongroadmap | Xputers (in German language) | asM auto-sequencing Memory | GAG Generic Address Generator | Reinvent Computing | impressum

 

   

        

 
   
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