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Paper Details

%T A Reconfigurable Host Interconnection Scheme for Occam\-Based Field Programmable Gate Arrays
%A Roger M. A. Peel
%E Alan G. Chalmers, Majid Mirmehdi, Henk Muller
%B Communicating Process Architectures 2001
%X This paper reports on the development of an interconnection
   scheme for field\-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These
   FPGAs may be programmed in the Occam parallel programming
   language. Now, not only may the inter\-process communication
   channels provided by Occam be used on\-chip, but they may
   also be extended to a host processor using the ubiquitous
   Universal Serial Bus (USB). Bidirectional channels of BYTEs
   are carried along this bus to a host processor (running
   Linux) where they are presented to application code using a
   device driver that provides similar capabilities to the
   standard B004 card link driver. A unidirectional
   end\-to\-end throughput between Linux processes and FPGA
   processes, across USB, has been measured as high as 1025
   kbytes/sec, although this rate is only achieved in
   favourable circumstances. Similarly, 410 kbytes/sec may be
   transferred in both directions simultaneously.
   Unidirectional transmission rates of more than 600
   kbytes/sec, and bidirectional rates of 175\-300 kbytes/sec
   in each direction may be achieved in a wide range of
   circumstances. The paper presents a range of performance
   figures, explaining which are limited by the underlying
   characteristics of the USB bus and which are caused by the
   current implementation. By implementing a transputer
   OS\-Link in the FPGA, it is possible for a USB\- enabled
   computer to communicate with a network of transputers,
   providing a convenient \- and potentially faster \-
   alternative to previous methods.

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