Sometimes it takes a little patience before the harvest of work can be reaped: The publication "ReconOS: Multithreaded Programming for Reconfigurable Computers", which Prof. Dr. Marco Platzner, head of the research group "Computer Engineering", and Dr. Enno Lübbers, alumnus of the institute, published in 2009 at the "IEEE Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems", was inducted into the "Hall of Fame" by the TCFPGA of the ACM SIGDA and honored in an online conference.
A new approach to programming reconfigurable computer architectures
Prof. Platzner explains what the project is concerned with: "It is about a new approach to programming reconfigurable computer architectures. These are computers based on so-called field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). In the work and the underlying project, we have created the possibility to program computers with CPUs and FPGAs 'multi-threaded'. In this case, computations are split into individual threads and then distributed between CPU cores and the reconfigurable hardware. It does not matter functionally which thread is executed where, but only for performance. Our approach also allows the threads to be moved between the CPU cores and the reconfigurable hardware at runtime. This allows us to design adaptive systems that can adapt themselves to changes at runtime."
Over 14 years of development and use in research projects
The project has a long history: Dr. Lübbers, then a PhD student, was the original architect of the first two ReconOS versions. From 2006 to 2009, ReconOS (the title is composed of "Recon" for "reconfigurable" and "OS" for "operating system") was developed in a project as part of the DFG Priority Program 1148 "Reconfigurable Computer Architectures". Even after the end of the project, it was further developed, adapted to the latest technologies and used in basic and industrial research projects. For example, it was used in the EU project EPICS (2010-2014) and can also be found in the work on the Collaborative Research Center 901 On-The-Fly Computing. ReconOS was also used in projects with industrial partners such as Weidmüller Interface as part of the technology network it's OWL. Now, after more than 14 years of research and further development, the paper by Prof. Platzner, Dr. Lübbers and other research associates has been recognized as one of the most excellent in its field.
Induction into the Hall of Fame
The TCFPGA Hall of Fame recognizes the most important peer-reviewed publications in the field of FPGAs, highlights the most significant contributions, and represents the wealth of knowledge that has accumulated over the past 30 years. Prof. Platzner and Dr. Lübbers have now been inducted with their work into this year's Hall of Fame of the "ACM/SIGDA Technical Committee on FPGAs". At a virtual conference, they gave a presentation on the development of their project and how it will continue to be used.
"This is a great honor and recognition," confirms Prof. Platzner. That's because only a maximum of three such recognitions are awarded each year. "It always involves looking back at least ten years to see what publications there were at the time and what impact they had over time, measured in terms of citations and prominence of the work," Prof. Platzner continues. Induction into the Hall of Fame is a rare honor, because only the top 1% of papers in the field of FPGAs and reconfigurable computing are honored.
ReconOS is an open source project, available at: www.reconos.de
Official announcement of induction into the Hall of Fame: http://hof.tcfpga.org/
Virtual Conference "30th International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications" (hosted in Gothenburg/Sweden from 31.08. to 04.09.2020): https://www.fpl2020.org