Cloud-Based FPGA Custom Computing Machines for Streaming Applications

Amran A. Al-Aghbari, Muhammad E.S. Elrabaa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A novel platform for launching and using field-programmable gate arrays (FPFA) custom computing machines (CCMs) in clouds and data centers is proposed. Based on a developed FPGA virtualization scheme, it allows users to create independent computing services on network-attached standalone FPGAs. The interface of the virtual FPGA (vFPGA)-based CCM is automatically generated by a virtualization layer and based on the user's specifications. An FPGA hypervisor has been developed that can be easily integrated with any cloud management tool. It allows the users to launch/use/tear down vFPGA-based CCMs in a similar manner to conventional virtual machines (VMs). A complete prototype of the proposed platform has been realized and tested with a streamed image processing application. Its performance was 3-4 \times and 1.4-2.4 \times times better than an SW implementation on a VM and a powerful server, respectively. Compared with other platforms for FPGA attachment to a cloud or datacenter, the proposed platform has relatively low overhead in terms of FPGA resources while providing the highest level of abstraction and virtualization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8672857
Pages (from-to)38009-38019
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • FPGAs
  • Reconfigurable computing
  • cloud computing
  • custom computing machines
  • streamed applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)


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