, which – in addition to providing high-performance, high-speed, and high-bandwidth – offers extremely low latency (Fig 2).
2. Typical quad-processor Opteron-based workstation.
What DRC have done is to create a dynamically reconfigurable coprocessor module based on a Xilinx FPGA. This coprocessor module replaces one of the dual-core Opteron processors. The coprocessor module is connected directly to the native Hypertransport technology interface for low-latency operation and resource sharing between the Opteron and DRC's coprocessor. This innovative combination provides an alternative architecture for processor augmentation to achieve up to 300X performance improvement while lowering power and heat requirements. (Fig 3).
3. Workstation with DRC's coprocessor module.
Known as the HPC Development System, this workstation comes complete with DDR memory, a hard disk drive, a graphics controller, etc. The HPC Development System also features software compilation technology from Celoxica, which is used to program the FPGA in the DRC coprocessor module.
Users first profile their C application to determine performance bottlenecks and areas of the code that can benefit from parallelization. Celoxica's compilation technology is then used to compile these portions of the code into the configuration file that is used to program the FPGA. The remaining (serial) portions of the code are processed through a standard compiler to run on the Opteron processor.
Models and prices vary based on the amount of memory, and the number, speed and size of the processors and re-configurable modules. For more information, contact Celoxica and/or DRC Computer Corporation.