The reconfigurable computing (RC) architecture enables software logic that can be reconfigured or reprogrammed to implement specific functionalities on tunable hardware rather than on a general-purpose processor (GPP). RC can achieve orders of-magnitude performance improvements on selected applications. An RC solution in a high-performance computing environment should include tight coupling and a transparent interface to a generalpurpose processor and its auxiliary resources (storage, I/O, networking).

Because FPGAs are tunable, high-density logic cores that provide high-performance and low-latency features, they are well suited for RC solutions. In this article, we’ll describe what RC is, how it fits into the Cray, Inc. XD1 high-performance architecture, and why Cray selected Xilinx as the foundation for high-performance application acceleration.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / First Quarter 2006. Article © Xcell Journal.