OpenFusion ICO, from PrismTech(TM), facilitates the use of FPGA’s in distributed, high-performance computing systems by making the design, integration, and reuse of FPGA hardware applications significantly faster and less expensive.
The appeal of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is their ability to handle (in hardware) a number of complex functions which previously would have been in the software domain. Since hardware can perform many operations in parallel, FPGA’s can significantly raise performance compared to software running on general purpose processors. For example, in tests performed by PrismTech, message processing power executed directly in FPGA hardware is more than 100x faster than in software.
Unfortunately the adoption of FPGAs in distributed computing has been limited by the complexity of FPGA application designs and their incompatibility with conventional software designs. This is exacerbated by the extremely long turn-around times of current FPGA design tools.
PrismTech’s new patent-pending technology means that conventional software development techniques can now be used to develop and integrate FPGA-based hardware applications. Using OpenFusion ICO to provide a standards-based distributed processing ‘IP core’ allows FPGA developers to benefit from shorter design times, easier integration, increased design reuse, and increased portability of applications.
Software developers treat ICO components as they would any other distributed object. This design approach makes communication between the S/W and H/W objects seamless. For example, using ICO, developers can now host part of their application on an FPGA and still have it addressable and callable as if it were a software object running on a general purpose processor.