In this paper, we take a MIPS-based open-source uniprocessor soft core, Plasma, and extend it to obtain the Beefarm infrastructure for FPGA-based multiprocessor emulation, a popular research topic of the last few years both in the FPGA and the computer architecture communities. We discuss various design tradeo s and we demonstrate superior scalability through experimental results compared to traditional
software instruction set simulators. Based on our experience of designing and building a complete FPGA-based multiprocessor emulation system that supports runtime and compiler infrastructure and on the actual
executions of our experiments running Software Transactional Memory (STM) benchmarks, we comment on the pros, cons and future trends of using hardware-based emulation for research.
CitationSonmez, N. [et al.]. From plasma to beefarm: Design experience of an FPGA-based multicore prototype. A: International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing. "7th International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing". Springer Verlag, 2011, p. 350-362.
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