Traditionally, one of the main functions of the Operating System (OS) is to abstract the programming model from the low level details of the specic HW platform resources. However, in an FPGA-based SoC with HW accelerators, even with an OS layer, there is no unied HW/SW framework that provides: 1) transparency to the SW designer at the application level; and 2) an interface and OS support for easy HW accelerator integration by the HW designer at the platform level. This thesis presents a Front-end USEr framework, called FUSE, that introduces a set of policies and mechanisms for HW accelerator abstraction. We illustrate FUSE as an API for an embedded Linux OS with POSIX threads on Xilinx's MicroBlaze on a Virtex5 FPGA. For three dierent applications and HW accelerators, we achieve performance speedups ranging from 5.8-9.0x.
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Thesis advisor: Shannon, Lesley
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