Researchers Submit Patent Application, "
The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In most general purpose computers, an operating system is the primary software that manages access to resources within the computer. The primary resources are the central processing unit (CPU), which executes application programs designed to run on the computer, main memory and storage. In some computer architectures, additional processing units (such as multiple cores in a processor) and/or additional processors, called co-processors, may be present. Examples of such co-processors include a graphic processing unit (GPU) and a digital signal processor (DSP). The operating system also manages access to these resources by multiple processes.
"A field programmable gate array (FPGA) is a kind of logic device that is commonly used in specialized computing devices. An FPGA typically is used to perform a specific, dedicated function, for which a gate array is particularly well-suited. FPGAs typically are found in peripheral devices, or other specialized hardware, such as a printed circuit board connected to and accessed through a system bus such as a PCI bus. In general, such devices are programmed once, and used many times. Because these devices are programmable, they have an advantage over other specialized logic devices in that they can be updated in the field."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
"One or more field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) can be used as a shared programmable co-processor resource in a general purpose computing system. An FPGA can be programmed to perform functions, which in turn can be associated with one or more processes. With multiple processes, the FPGA can be shared, and a process is assigned to at least one portion of the FPGA during a time slot in which to access the FPGA. Programs written in a hardware description language for programming the FPGA are made available as a hardware library. The operating system manages allocating the FPGA resources to processes, programming the FPGA in accordance with the functions to be performed by the processes using the FPGA and scheduling use of the FPGA by these processes.
"Given a set of hardware libraries in a system, an update process can be provided to periodically (or, on request) update the libraries to add new libraries or change existing libraries to new versions. One or more update servers can provide information about libraries available for download, either in response to a request or by notifying systems using such libraries. New available libraries can be presented to a user for selection and download. Requests for updated libraries can arise in several ways, such as through polling for updates, exceptions from applications attempting to use libraries, and upon compilation of application code.
"In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific example implementations of this technique. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the disclosure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example computing system with FPGA resources for which an operating system can be implemented.
"FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative example of FPGA functional units.
"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an example architecture of an application using hardware and software libraries on a computer system with FPGA resources.
"FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating the use of FPGA resources over time.
"FIG. 5 is a data flow diagram illustrating an example implementation of a system for updating hardware libraries
"FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating an example implementation of requesting a hardware library based on code analysis.
"FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating an example implementation of requesting a hardware library based on user selection.
"FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating an example implementation of requesting a hardware library based on polling an update server."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Nightingale, Edmund B.;
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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