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This effort grew out the intellectual backdrop of the Transit and Abacus projects. Years prototyping Transit machines with Tom Simon and his specialization philosophy set the stage for my initial interest in FPGAs for computing. The initial ideas for the DPGA grew out of dialogs with Mike Bolotski in which we tried to reconcile Abacus, his SIMD architecture which he described as ``a bunch of one-bit processors, '' with FPGAs, which looked to me like ``a bunch of one-bit processors.''
Tom Knight has been my research advisor since I was a junior. He has always encouraged me to focus on the big idea and has been supportive as I explored sometimes radical points of view. He gave me plenty of freedom to do the right thing, and hopefully, I have lived up to the confidence and trust implied by that autonomy.
The efforts of Jeremy Brown, Derrick Chen, Ian Eslick, Ethan Mirsky, and Edward Tau during and after 6.371 made the DPGA prototype possible. Ian's perseverance to finalize the layout and verification was particular responsible for the completion of that effort. Ed and Ian both helped see the DPGA prototype through its final postmortem.
TSFPGA and MATRIX were both possible only because of Derrick Chen and Ethan Mirsky, the Master of Engineering students who respectively took ownership of the microarchitecture and VLSI portions of those designs. We were largely able to complement each other's efforts in our attempts to understand and develop these architectures.
Discussion with Rich Lethin, Russ Tessier, and Jonathan Babb at MIT were useful in focusing in on the key issues which needed addressing.
Regular interaction with the emerging reconfigurable computing community was valuable for encouragement and for identifying key problems and issues. Notably, discussions with Brad Taylor, Mike Butts, Brad Hutchings, Bill Magione-Smith, John Villasenor, Phil Kuekes, Steve Trimberger, Mike Smith, and Carl Ebling have been helpful in identifying the questions which need answers and cleaning up ideas for presentation.
Thomas McDermott provided valuable feedback on the early chapters of this work.
The availability of high-quality, experimental CAD tools in source form from universities made the experimental mapping work done here feasible. University of Toronto's Chortle provided a clean basis for several early experiments in DPGA synthesis. UC Berkeley's SIS was used for standard, technology independent circuit mapping. UC Berkeley's mustang was the workhorse behind multicontext FSM mapping.
This research was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense under Rome Labs contract number F30602-94-C-0252.