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Title: Xputer  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: SystemVerilog DPI, JHDL, OpenVera, ModelSim, Altera Quartus
Collection: Computer Architecture, Reconfigurable Computing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Xputer is a design for a reconfigurable computer, proposed by computer scientist Reiner Hartenstein in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications.[1] Hartenstein uses various terms to describe the various innovations in the design, including config-ware, flow-ware, morph-ware, and "anti-machine".

The Xputer represents a move away from the traditional

  1. ^ Reiner Hartenstein, ResearchGate
  2. ^ a b Field-Programmable Logic: Architectures, Synthesis and Applications, Reiner W. Hartenstein, Springer Science & Business Media, 24-Aug-1994
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Compilation Techniques for Reconfigurable Architectures, Springer Science & Business Media, 02-Apr-2011
  4. ^ Designing Embedded Processors: A Low Power Perspective, Springer Science & Business Media, 27-Jul-2007
  5. ^ Reconfigurable System Design and Verification, CRC Press, 17-Feb-2009


rDPAs are structurally programmed from "config-ware" source code, 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.[5]

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.

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 (rDPA) is a semiconductor device containing reconfigurable data path units and programmable interconnects, first proposed by Rainer Kress in 1993, at the University of Kaiserslautern.


Programs for the Xputer are written in the C language, and compiled for usage on the Xputer using the CoDeX compiler written by the author.[3] The CoDeX compiler maps suitable portions of the C program onto the Xputer's rDPA fabric.[3] The remainder of the program is executed on the host system, such as a personal computer.

  • Nearest neighbour (connections between neighbouring ALUs)
  • Row/column back-buses
  • Global bus (a single global bus for interconnection between further ALUs)

ALUs are mesh-connected via three types of connections, and data-flow along these connections are managed by an address generation unit.[3]

The ALUs (also known as rDPUs) are used for computing a single mathematical operation, such as addition, subtraction or multiplication, and can also be used purely for routing.[3]

The Xputer architecture was one of the first coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures,[3] and consists of a reconfigurable datapath array (rDPA) organized as a two-dimensional array of ALUs (rDPU).[3] The bus-width between ALU's were 32-bit in the first version of the Xputer.[3]

The Xputer architecture is data-stream-based, and is the counterpart of the instruction-based von Neumann computer architecture.



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