Reconfigurable datapath array

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A reconfigurable datapath array (rDPA) is a coarse-grained morphware unit for Reconfigurable Computing. Instead of FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) having single bit configurable logic blocks (CLBs), rDPAs have multiple bits wide (for instance, 32 bit path width) reconfigurable datapath units (rDPUs).

A Reconfigurable datapath array or rDPA is a semiconductor device containing reconfigurable data path units (rDPU) and programmable interconnects. Each rDPU can be configured to perform an individual function. These rDPUs and interconnects can be programmed after the manufacturing process by the customer/designer (hence the term "reconfigurable") so that the rDPA can perform whatever complex computation is needed. Because rDPUs are multiple bits wide (for instance, 32 bits), we talk about coarse-grained reconfigurability - in contrast to FPGAs with single-bit wide configurable logic blocks, called fine-gained reconfigurable.

rDPAs are structurally programmed from configware sources, compiled into pipe networks to be mapped onto the rDPA. rDPAs are not instruction-stream-driven and have no instruction fetch at run time. rDPUs do not have a program counter. The term reconfigurable datapath array or rDPA has been coined by Rainer Kress in 1993 when having been at TU Kaiserslautern.

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