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Old 29th May, 2009, 03:16 PM
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Startup claims breakthrough in reconfigurable logic

John Walko
EE Times Europe

LONDON — A British company focused on dynamically reconfigurable logic, Akya (Selby, England), has launched its first licensable technology, dubbed the ART2.

Read more on the Front Page:
AOA - Startup claims breakthrough in reconfigurable logic
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Old 31st May, 2009, 10:18 PM
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Allow my ignorance please. They're talking about software re-configuration, not tech that changes CPU core hardware? Sounds like it would be very useful if it's software.
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Old 1st June, 2009, 02:19 PM
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They're talking about hardware re-configuration. From a quick read between the lines, they're talking about application specific chips (like, for instance, a wireless networking chip, or a video decoding chip).

The idea is that a manufacturer can choose how much of the chip is 'fixed' in design, and how much can be reconfigured after the product is manufactured. Thus, if limited modifications are needed to improve performance or support a newer version of a protocol, it should possible to reconfigure parts of the chip to support these.
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Old 1st June, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Generally speaking, doing something in hardware is more efficient that doing something in software. This translates into higher performance/lower power.

If they can reconfigure hardware to accomodate a new protocol, or a new version of an existing protocol, without requiring a full-blown CPU to run software then that is a nifty thing because it makes the end product both less expensive to purchase/operate, and more flexible.

Aidan is right, the idea is for application specific chips.
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Old 2nd June, 2009, 05:49 PM
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Was the Sony Cell processor a fore runner of this approach...or am I lost in the wilderness again?
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Old 2nd June, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Actually, no. The Cell is still a processor requiring software.

Reconfigurable logic has actually been around for quite some time: Programmable Gate Arrays (PGAs) are probably the most common example.

What makes this outfit's offering unique is the approach they've taken to doing it.

In the usual approach to programmable logic, you have either a 'sea of gates' or a set of dedicated blocks of logic, which you then connect together in some arbitrary fashion to achieve a specific set of functionality. Because of this, it is quite common that the 'control logic' and the 'data processing logic' get mixed together in a way that causes changes in one to make changes in the other.

What this company have done is to enforce a separation of the control logic and the data manipulation logic in the design of the device, theoretically making design of the hardware simpler, easier to maintain, and more scalable.

It's essentially the hardware equivalent of the 'Model-View-Controller' paradigm that is popular these days in software development.
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Old 3rd June, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for clearing away some cobwebs! ":O}
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Old 4th June, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Thank you, it's great to know some forests from the trees now and again!
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