NCSA, OSC to host Reconfigurable Systems Summer Institute

CHAMPAIGN, Ohio (Jun 23, 2005) — 

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) will bring together reconfigurable systems researchers from industry and academia for a three-day workshop this July.

The Reconfigurable Systems Summer Institute (RSSI), to be held July 11-13 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will discuss the state-of-the-art in the use of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) co-processors to significantly speed algorithms and will look ahead at the potential of reconfigurable systems to radically alter high-performance computing. Reconfigurable systems have the potential to build the machine that best fits the problem at hand. Scientists will have the ability to perfectly match the systems to their codes.

In addition to presentations and demonstrations from industry, the institute will feature two dynamic keynote speakers: reconfigurable computing pioneer Duncan A. Buell and Eric A. Stahlberg, Senior Systems Manager at OSC.

Buell's opening keynote is titled "The Future of Reconfigurable Computing: A 'Small Matter of Programming'." He will review the history of reconfigurable computing with a particular focus on the barriers that have hampered its success, including the lack of technology that builds on past work to make the task of application development easier for the next application. He will also explain how changes in the field suggest there is hope for much greater success in the future.

Stahlberg will provide Tuesday's keynote, "Field Programmable Gate Arrays -- Power in Future HPC Systems," focusing on opportunities for reconfigurable computing to deliver new dimensions of parallelism in emerging high-performance and enterprise computing systems. He will emphasize motivations for utilizing FPGA technology in non-traditional areas, the role of reconfigurable computing in delivering balanced systems, and efforts under way to accelerate the availability of applications for these systems.

The institute will conclude with a reconfigurable computing tutorial conducted by Buell (University of South Carolina), Tarek El-Ghazawi (George Washington University), Kris Gaj (George Mason University), and David Pointer (NCSA).

Earlier this year OSC founded OpenFPGA, an organization that fosters the use of FPGA technology in high-level applications by bringing together developers, hardware manufacturers, and academic, government and commercial organization. NCSA is a member of the OpenFPGA steering committee and explores reconfigurable computing and other cutting-edge technology through its Innovative Systems Laboratory. This lab provides early access to, and evaluation of, future generations of computing systems, hardware, and software.

The RSSI agenda, additional information, and online registration are available at

About NCSA

NCSA ( National Center for Supercomputing Applications) is a national high-performance computing center that develops and deploys cutting-edge computing, networking and information technologies. Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NCSA is funded by the National Science Foundation. Additional support comes from the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, private sector partners and other federal agencies. For more information, see

About OSC

OSC is Ohio's high performance computing, networking, and research center. The Center provides scientific computing, networking, educational outreach, and information technology resources to state and national high performance computing and networking groups. For more information, go to

About OpenFPGA

OpenFPGA is an effort to bring together developers and hardware manufacturers, academic, government and commercial organizations to work together to advance the use of FPGA technology in high-level applications. Collectively, OpenFPGA will foster shared and open efforts to address challenges of portability, interoperability and intra-application communication for FPGA and reconfigurable applications in high-performance and enterprise computing environments.

The organizational framework for OpenFPGA is presently being developed by the steering group.