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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 439072, 10 pages
Research Article

A High-Speed Dynamic Partial Reconfiguration Controller Using Direct Memory Access Through a Multiport Memory Controller and Overclocking with Active Feedback

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of New Mexico, MSC01 1100, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA

Received 23 November 2010; Revised 12 April 2011; Accepted 7 June 2011

Academic Editor: Eduardo Marques

Copyright © 2011 John C. Hoffman and Marios S. Pattichis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dynamically reconfigurable computing platforms provide promising methods for dynamic management of hardware resources, power, and performance. Yet, progress in dynamically reconfigurable computing is fundamentally limited by the reconfiguration time overhead. Prior research in the development of dynamic partial reconfiguration (DPR) controllers has been limited by its use of the Processor Local Bus (PLB). As a result, the bus was unavailable during DPR. This resulted in significant time overhead. To minimize the overhead, we introduce the use of a multiport memory controller (MPMC) that frees the PLB during the reconfiguration process. The processor is thus allowed to switch to other tasks during the reconfiguration operation. This effectively limits the reconfiguration overhead. An interrupt is used to inform the processor when the operation is complete. Therefore, the system can multitask during the reconfiguration operation. Furthermore, to maximize performance, we introduce the use of overclocking with active feedback. During overclocking, the use of active feedback is used to ensure that the device voltage and temperature are within nominal operating conditions. All of these contributions lead to significant performance improvements over current partial reconfiguration subsystems. The portability of the system, demonstrated on the Virtex-4 and the Virtex-5, consists of four different hardware platforms.