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Run-Time Object Code Compilation to Hardware



Reconfigurable hardware systems offer great potential for improving performance over software through increased parallelism and reduced control overhead. However, the configuration of the hardware is performed statically, restricting the system's ability to adapt to the run-time environment. This thesis explores the possibility of compiling from object code into a reconfigurable hardware structure at run-time to allow the hardware configuration to benefit from the behaviour of the currently executing code. A mechanism for detecting hot spots at run-time is presented; this minimises compilation overheads by only compiling the most frequently executed sections of code. A dynamic detection threshold allows the hot spot detector to adapt to radically different code and to react quickly to changes in program behaviour. A hardware structure suitable for executing these hot spots is proposed, consisting of a sequenced execution engine containing four parallel functional units and a configurable interconnect.

The thesis is available as PDF (2.5MB).