Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2011

School

Center for Computer and Information Technology

Major

Computer Science

Primary Subject Area

Computer Science

Keywords

reconfigurable systems, morphware, von Neumann, configware, operating system, data stream

Disciplines

Computer and Systems Architecture | Hardware Systems | Other Computer Engineering

Abstract

The difficulty of overcoming the disparity between processor speeds and data access speeds, a condition known as the von Neumann bottleneck, has been a source of consternation for computer hardware developers for many years. Although a number of temporary solutions have been proposed and implemented in modern machines, these solutions have only managed to treat the major symptoms, rather than solve the root problem. As the number of transistors on a chip roughly doubles every two years, the von Neumann bottleneck has continued to tighten in spite of these solutions, prompting some computer hardware professionals to advocate a paradigm shift away from the von Neumann architecture into something entirely new. Many have begun advocating the relatively new technology of reconfigurable systems, popularly known as morphware. The difficulty with adopting a new architectural paradigm, however, is that developers on both sides of the software-hardware spectrum must start from scratch, creating entirely new operating systems, hardware peripherals, application software, and user interfaces, all of which must seem familiar to the end user, yet still take advantage of the improvements morphware has to offer. With this in mind, this thesis builds off of the fundamental theory and current implementations of morphware to describe the processes and products necessary to develop and deliver morphware to the average user as a viable alternative to current technology.