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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2018, Article ID 8785903, 11 pages
Research Article

Reconfigurable Network Stream Processing on Virtualized FPGA Resources

1University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
2University College London, London, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Qianqiao Chen;

Received 27 September 2017; Accepted 30 January 2018; Published 25 February 2018

Academic Editor: Michael Hübner

Copyright © 2018 Qianqiao Chen et al. 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.


The software defined network and network function virtualization are proposed to address the network ossification issue in current Internet infrastructure. Network functions and services are implemented as software applications to increase the programmability of network. However, involving general purpose processors in data plane restricts the bandwidth of network services. Therefore, to keep both the bandwidth and flexibility, a FPGA platform is suggested as a reconfigurable platform to deliver high bandwidth virtual network functions on data plane. In this paper, the FPGA resource has been virtualized by interconnecting partial reconfigurable regions to deliver high bandwidth reconfigurable processing on network streams. With the help of partial reconfiguration technology, network functions on our platform can be configured without affecting other functions on the same FPGA device. The on-chip interconnect system is further evaluated by comparing with existing network-on-chip system. A reconfiguration process is also proposed and demonstrated that it can be performed on our platform. The process can happen in the real time of network services and it is able to keep the original function working during the download of partial bitstream.