design, performance, reliability, evolvable hardware, autonomous systems, reconfigurable architectures, adaptable architectures, fpga


Many digital logic applications can take advantage of the reconfiguration capability of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to dynamically patch design flaws, recover from faults, or time-multiplex between functions. Partial reconfiguration is the process by which a user modifies one or more modules residing on the FPGA device independently of the others. Partial Reconfiguration reduces the granularity of reconfiguration to be a set of columns or rectangular region of the device. Decreasing the granularity of reconfiguration results in reduced configuration filesizes and, thus, reduced configuration times. When compared to one bitstream of a non-partial reconfiguration implementation, smaller modules resulting in smaller bitstream filesizes allow an FPGA to implement many more hardware configurations with greater speed under similar storage requirements. To realize the benefits of partial reconfiguration in a wider range of applications, this thesis begins with a survey of FPGA fault-handling methods, which are compared using performance-based metrics. Performance analysis of the Genetic Algorithm (GA) Offline Recovery method is investigated and candidate solutions provided by the GA are partitioned by age to improve its efficiency. Parameters of this aging technique are optimized to increase the occurrence rate of complete repairs. Continuing the discussion of partial reconfiguration, the thesis develops a case-study application that implements one partial reconfiguration module to demonstrate the functionality and benefits of time multiplexing and reveal the improved efficiencies of the latest large-capacity FPGA architectures. The number of active partial reconfiguration modules implemented on a single FPGA device is increased from one to eight to implement a dynamic video-processing architecture for Discrete Cosine Transform and Motion Estimation functions to demonstrate a 55-fold reduction in bitstream storage requirements thus improving partial reconfiguration capability.


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Graduation Date



DeMara, Ronald


Master of Science in Computer Engineering (M.S.Cp.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Computer Engineering








Release Date

September 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)