PrismTech Debuts OpenFusion ICO for FPGA Distributed Computing Systems

PrismTech(TM), a leader in high-performance middleware and development tools, announced the commercial availability of OpenFusion® ICO. Incorporating patent-pending technology, OpenFusion ICO facilitates the use of FPGA’s in distributed, high-performance computing systems by making the design, integration and reuse of FPGA hardware applications significantly faster and less expensive.

A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is a semiconductor device containing programmable logic components and programmable interconnects. The programmable logic components can be programmed to duplicate the functionality of basic logic gates or more complex combinational functions such as decoders or simple mathematical functions. FPGAs are increasingly being used in many mainstream applications such as networking, telecom, defense, aerospace, finance and consumer electronics.

The appeal of FPGAs is their ability to handle (in hardware) a number of complex functions which previously would have been in the software domain. Since hardware can perform many operations in parallel this means that using FPGA’s can significantly raise performance compared to software running on general purpose processors. For example, in tests performed by PrismTech, message processing power executed directly in FPGA hardware is more than 100x faster than in software.

Unfortunately the adoption of FPGAs in distributed computing has been limited by the complexity of FPGA application designs and their incompatibility with conventional software designs. This is exacerbated by the extremely long turn-around times of current FPGA design tools.

PrismTech’s new patent-pending technology means that conventional software development techniques can now be used to develop and integrate FPGA-based hardware applications. Using OpenFusion ICO to provide a standards-based distributed processing ‘IP core’ allows FPGA developers to benefit from shorter design times, easier integration, increased design reuse, and increased portability of applications.

Software developers treat ICO components as they would any other distributed object. This design approach makes communication between the S/W and H/W objects seamless. For example, using ICO, developers can now host part of their application on an FPGA and still have it addressable and callable as if it were a software object running on a general purpose processor.

“It is clear that significant performance benefits can be achieved by utilizing the latest FPGA technology and as such it makes business sense for an increasing spectrum of applications to be developed in hardware,” said Andrew Foster, OpenFusion Product Manager, PrismTech. “For high performance FPGA based systems, OpenFusion ICO can significantly ease the design, implementation and integration of hardware applications.”

Manuel Uhm, Sr. Marketing Manager responsible for the commercial and military communications roadmaps at Xilinx, Inc. and co-chair of the Markets Committee of the SDR Forum, welcomes the release of ICO: “Xilinx is very supportive of middleware technologies that can help developers to efficiently develop and deploy their applications on FPGAs. Commercially available IP cores, like FPGA CORBA® ORBs, that ease FPGA configuration, integration and interprocessor communications have great potential to positively impact ease-of-use and time-to-market. Xilinx is very active in the SDR community, so this ability to bring FPGA-resident waveform components into compliance with the SCA, and do it with minimal overhead and by exploiting open standards is a major advance.”

About PrismTech
PrismTech is an acknowledged leader in advanced software integration solutions. The company develops, markets, and supports a wide range of standards-compliant, high-performance middleware products whose quality-of-service (QoS) properties significantly exceed those offered by conventional middleware. PrismTech also offers developer productivity tools and a comprehensive range of professional services. PrismTech’s differentiators are most highly valued in markets where business-critical and mission-critical systems require high-performance middleware. These systems are pervasive in a number of vertical markets, such as Telecom, Mil/Aero, Finance, Utilities, Transportation, and Homeland Security, and range from Net-centric OSS to Software-Defined Radio. PrismTech’s customers constitute an impressive list of major systems integrators, OEMs, and ISVs, including many Fortune Global 500 companies. PrismTech was founded in 1992 and is a privately-held group with US operations based in Boston, MA and Saddle Brook, NJ, and European operations in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and France.

CORBA is a registered trademark of the Object Management Group, Inc in the U.S. and other countries. OpenFusion, OpenSplice DDS, and Spectra are trademarks or registered trademarks of PrismTech.