Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Reese, Donna S.

Committee Member

Dampier, David A.

Committee Member

Luke, Edward A.

Committee Member

Morris, Gerald R.

Committee Member

Bridges, Susan M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Computer Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


The field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is a dynamically reconfigurable digital logic chip used to implement custom hardware. The large densities of modern FPGAs and the capability of the on-thely reconfiguration has made the FPGA a viable alternative to fixed logic hardware chips such as the ASIC. In high-performance computing, FPGAs are used as co-processors to speed up computationally intensive processes or as autonomous systems that realize a complete hardware application. However, due to the limited capacity of FPGA logic resources, denser FPGAs must be purchased if more logic resources are required to realize all the functions of a complex application. Alternatively, partial reconfiguration (PR) can be used to swap, on demand, idle components of the application with active components. This research uses PR to swap components to improve the performance of the application given the limited logic resources available with smaller but economical FPGAs. The swap is called ”resource sharing PR”. In a pipelined design of multiple hardware modules (pipeline stages), resource sharing PR is a technique that uses PR to improve the performance of pipeline bottlenecks. This is done by reconfiguring other pipeline stages, typically those that are idle waiting for data from a bottleneck, into an additional parallel bottleneck module. The target pipeline of this research is a two-stage “slow-toast” pipeline where the flow of data traversing the pipeline transitions from a relatively slow, bottleneck stage to a fast stage. A two stage pipeline that combines FPGA-based hardware implementations of well-known Bioinformatics search algorithms, the X! Tandem algorithm and the Smith-Waterman algorithm, is implemented for this research; the implemented pipeline demonstrates that characteristics of these algorithm. The experimental results show that, in a database of unknown peptide spectra, when matching spectra with 388 peaks or greater, performing resource sharing PR to instantiate a parallel X! Tandem module is worth the cost for PR. In addition, from timings gathered during experiments, a general formula was derived for determining the value of performing PR upon a fast module.