|| Hejun (Nancy) Ma
- MsCE (2004), University of New Brunswick, Canada
- Bachelor in EE, Harbin Institute of Technology
Research Topic: VLSI Design
Thesis Research: A Design and Simulation of the Hardware Partition in a Software/Hardware Co-Designed Java Virtual Machine
Java is a platform independent programming language. This characteristic makes
it ideal for delivery across heterogeneous network devices. It is the Java Virtual Machine
that acts as an interpreter between a Java application and the underlying native system to
ensure system independence of Java. Unfortunately, the extra layer that the Java Virtual
Machine adds has a negative impact on Java's performance. To address this problem
various techniques have been investigated.
The co-design approach provides a virtual computing platform through the use of
a reconfigurable computing device and emphasizes the cooperation between software and
hardware partitions. This thesis focuses on implementing the hardware partition of the
co-design. A PCI development card with an FPGA is chosen as the development
environment of the hardware partition. The hardware design consists of a Java Engine
and an Interface Module. The Java Engine is the Java bytecode execution unit with
pipeline stages for fetching, decoding, and execution procedures in parallel. The Interface
Module is the communication unit that interacts with the PCI bus and local memory to
exchange data and information.
This thesis briefly introduces the concept of the co-designed Java Virtual
Machine, outlines the partitioning scheme between the software and hardware partitions,
illustrates the architecture of the hardware partition, and explains the implementation of
the hardware partition. Several tests are applied to evaluate the functionality and
performance of various features of the hardware. This process enables a software
simulator that was developed in previous research to be verified and validated. The
experimental results obtained are presented and conclusions are given.
Photo of Nancy at Graduation. - Congratulations Nancy!!