Hejun (Nancy) Ma
  • MsCE (2004), University of New Brunswick, Canada
  • Bachelor in EE, Harbin Institute of Technology


Research Topic: VLSI Design
E-mail: z9xad@unb.ca

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!!

Thesis Supervisor(s):
Ken Kent