FPGAs in Large-scale Computer Systems

As modern data center workloads become increasingly complex, constrained and critical, mainstream “CPU-centric” computing can no longer keep pace. Future data centers are moving towards a more fluid model, with computation and communication no longer localized to commodity CPUs and routers. Next generation “data-centric” data centers will “compute everywhere,” whether data is stationary (in memory) or on the move (in network). Reconfigurable hardware, in the form of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), are transforming ordinary clouds into massive supercomputers. We will highlight many ways to deploy FPGAs in a data center node, such as traditional back-end accelerators, tightly coupled off-load processors, Smart NICs, Bump-in-the-Wire, and even in the router itself. We will also discuss our efforts to make these devices accessible globally accessible, through deeper integration into software stacks, transparent generation of custom hardware stacks, and device management using reconfigurable hardware operating systems.

Additional Info

This project is also a project of the Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University. Additional information can also be found at Red Hat Research.