Research Vectors

The Intel/VMware Crossroads 3D-FPGA Academic Research Center is developing the Crossroads 3D-FPGA as a new central fixture component on future server motherboards, connecting all server endpoints (network, storage, memory, CPU) intelligently. (Watch an overview on YouTube.)

At the crossroads of data, a Crossroads 3D-FPGA can apply application-specific functions over data-on-the-move between any pair of server endpoints, intelligently steer data to the right core or accelerator, and reduce and compress the volume of data that needs to be moved between servers. From a whole datacenter perspective, we can view the Crossroads 3D-FPGA as extending the rise of in-network computing into the server. We refer to this processing paradigm as in-interconnect computing.

3D integration is core to the architecture of a Crossroads 3D-FPGA. To attain flexible steering and high throughput, the Crossroads 3D-FPGA will combine a Network-on-Chip (NoC) in a layer beneath the traditional FPGA fabric. With this layered design, the NoC provides a backplane for routing and steering, but data can move to the FPGA fabric layer to pass through computational elements as needed.

The center’s research is organized into five vectors to address the research challenges holistically across the systems stack.

  1. Applications (RV1)
  2. Programming Abstractions and Overlays (RV2)
  3. Crossroads 3D-FPGA Architecture (RV3)
  4. Electronic Design Automation (RV4)
  5. Dynamic Execution and Management (RV5)