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Hardware compiler realising concurrent processes in reconfigurable logic

Hardware compiler realising concurrent processes in reconfigurable logic

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Reconfigurable computers based on field programmable gate array technology allow applications to be realised directly in digital logic. The inherent concurrency of hardware distinguishes such computers from microprocessor-based machines in which the concurrency of the underlying hardware is fixed and abstracted from the programmer by the software model. However, reconfigurable logic provides us with the potential to exploit `real' concurrency. It is therefore interesting to know how to exploit this concurrency, how to model concurrent computations, and which languages allow this dynamic hardware to be programmed most effectively. The purpose of this work is to describe an FPGA compiler for the Circal process algebra. In so doing, the authors demonstrate that behavioural descriptions expressed in a process algebraic language can be readily and intuitively compiled to reconfigurable logic and that this contributes to the goal of discovering appropriate high-level languages for run-time recon-figuration.

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