UT ECE professor Derek Chiou has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for his work on the FAbRIC (FPGA Research Infrastructure Cloud) project.
Reconfigurable hardware has tremendous potential in terms of performance and power efficiency. However, the high cost of such systems, the high cost of the tools needed to program such systems, and need to program at a very low level together put such systems out of reach of most researchers. The FAbRIC (FPGA Research Infrastructure Cloud) project will acquire and maintain such systems and their tools in the Texas Advanced Computing Center for open use by all researchers. In addition, the PIs will port our own reconfigurable hardware operating systems to the platforms to dramatically improve their usability and our own applications to serve as starting points for future work.
Having an open, shared resource of this kind makes some of the highest performance computational power available to all researchers, regardless of their location or their ability to purchase and maintain such systems. The project team will run distributed classes for students and researchers to learn how to use such platforms. In addition, the default usage model of open source to play enables anyone who agrees to let the team open their source codes to use the facility free of charge. Such a shared platform with free industrial-strength tools and open sourced code finally enables true reproducibility of research results and the ability to leverage other work.
Dr. Derek Chiou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2008, he received an NSF CAREER Award for work on improving the expensive and time-consuming process of architecting, implementing and verifying the hardware, system software and application software when building or using computer systems.