FOS: A Modular FPGA Operating System for Dynamic Workloads

by   Anuj Vaishnav, et al.

With FPGAs now being deployed in the cloud and at the edge, there is a need for scalable design methods which can incorporate the heterogeneity present in the hardware and software components of FPGA systems. Moreover, these FPGA systems need to be maintainable and adaptable to changing workloads while improving accessibility for the application developers. However, current FPGA systems fail to achieve modularity and support for multi-tenancy due to dependencies between system components and lack of standardised abstraction layers. To solve this, we introduce a modular FPGA operating system – FOS, which adopts a modular FPGA development flow to allow each system component to be changed and be agnostic to the heterogeneity of EDA tool versions, hardware and software layers. Further, to dynamically maximise the utilisation transparently from the users, FOS employs resource-elastic scheduling to arbitrate the FPGA resources in both time and spatial domain for any type of accelerators. Our evaluation on different FPGA boards shows that FOS can provide performance improvements in both single-tenant and multi-tenant environments while substantially reducing the development time and, at the same time, improving flexibility.


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