Autonomous Computing Systems

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Virginia Tech

This work discusses autonomous computing systems, as implemented in hardware, and the properties required for such systems to function. Particular attention is placed on shifting the associated complexity into the systems themselves, and making them responsible for their own resources and operation. The resulting systems present simpler interfaces to their environments, and are able to respond to changes within themselves or their environments with little or no outside intervention. This work proposes a roadmap for the development of autonomous computing systems, and shows that their individual components can be implemented with present day technology.

This work further implements a proof-of-concept demonstration system that advances the state-of-the-art. The system detects activity on connected inputs, and responds to the conditions without external assistance. It works from mapped netlists, that it dynamically parses, places, routes, configures, connects, and implements within itself, at the finest granularity available, while continuing to run. The system also models itself and its resource usage, and keeps that model synchronized with the changes that it undergoes—a critical requirement for autonomous systems. Furthermore, because the system assumes responsibility for its resources, it is able to dynamically avoid resources that have been masked out, in a manner suitable for defect tolerance.

Partial Dynamic Reconfiguration, Self-Reconfiguration, ICAP