Group Title: CARMA : a comprehensive management framework for high-performance reconfigurable computing
Title: Abstract
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Title: Abstract
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Troxel, Ian A.
Jacob, Aju M.
George, Alan D.
Subramaniyan, Raj
Radlinksi, Matthew A.
Publisher: Troxel et al.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094757
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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CARMA: A Comprehensive Management Framework
for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing

Ian A. Troxel', Aju M. Jacob, Alan D. George, Raj Subramaniyan, and Matthew A. Radlinski
High-performance Computing and Simulation (HCS) Research Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-(. 211

Programmable logic devices are rapidly becoming a cornerstone architecture technology for a broad and
increasing range of critical applications. One relatively new direction for exploitation of PLD technologies is
as the basis in fundamentally new architectures and systems for computationally challenging applications that
require high-performance computing. Whether serving as the basis for high-speed embedded systems, or
featured in the next generation of supercomputers, the advantages of PLD technologies in performance and
versatility will be exploited in adaptive computing systems to solve problems that require extremely high
efficiency of computation, communication, and data access. Based on commodity parts and emerging
technologies, reconfigurable computing systems hold the potential to achieve performance levels far
exceeding those of conventional systems while maintaining the advantages of cost, interoperability, etc.
associated with systems based on industry standards and off-the-shelf components. Following the trends in
high-performance computing, powerful reconfigurable systems are likely to be heterogeneous in nature,
featuring a diverse set of processing, communication, and storage technologies. In these systems, speedup
and offload of various computation and communication tasks will be provided through dynamic hardware
reconfiguration, with FPGA and CPU devices working in tandem to solve key tasks in a collaborative fashion.
One of the limiting factors in building and exploiting such systems has been the lack of a simple and
effective management framework within which applications, system services, programming models, and
middleware can be developed and ported to support a broad range of platforms and tools. Such frameworks
exist in the allied fields of cluster computing and grid computing, but to date significantly less attention has
been paid to such issues in reconfigurable systems for high-end computing. While initial algorithm
development on large-scale reconfigurable systems has achieved significant performance improvements for
select applications, one of the biggest challenges confronting system designers and users is a lack of
comprehensive, powerful, and vendor-independent management services for such systems. This presentation
will address this issue and focus on research activities and new results in the design and analysis of open-
system infrastructure for hardware-adaptive, reconfigurable systems for high-performance computing.
In this presentation, we propose a new framework known as the Comprehensive Approach to
Reconfigurable Management Architecture (CARMA). CARMA provides the basic infrastructure to develop
and integrate key components for reconfigurable high-performance computing systems. Some of the many
examples of components that fit within this framework include board-independent application :',i lpp'ii,
dynamic and robust job scheduling, distributed configuration management, scalable performance monitoring
into the hardware, and board-independent interface modules for the reconfigurable fabric. With CARMA, we
seek to build a unified, fault-tolerant, scalable tool to specifically address key issues such as dynamic
reconfigurable fabric discovery and configuration management, coherent multitasking in a versatile multi-user
environment, scheduling and management of heterogeneous jobs including both hardware-reconfigurable and
software-reconfigurable (i.e. conventional) tasks, breadth-wise and depth-wise performance monitoring across
networked nodes and into the FPGA fabric for both debug and performance management, and vendor-
independent middleware and programming models. This presentation will introduce the CARMA framework
and showcase the initial design and development of modules within the framework with a focus on design
decisions, tradeoffs, and lessons learned. Included will be a performance analysis of the initial top-to-bottom
prototype of CARMA using several case studies to show cost versus performance tradeoffs performed to
tune the tool to specific systems. Finally, projections will be presented to illustrate robustness and scalability
for large-scale systems.

1 Corresponding author, email:, telephone: 352-392-9046.

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