Brebner G. (1996) A virtual hardware operating system for the Xilinx XC6200. In: Hartenstein R.W., Glesner M. (eds) Field-Programmable Logic Smart Applications, New Paradigms and Compilers. FPL 1996. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 1142. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Computer operating systems relieve a user of the responsibility for managing physical resources, such as processors, memory and input/output devices. The evolution of FPGA technology means that a new resource is available — it is accessed like memory, but can behave like a flexible processor or input/output device. There is a rôle for an operating system in making this resource easy to use, by managing it on behalf of a user. This paper explores the issues involved in such management, in particular the problems involved in presenting a software-oriented user with a larger virtual hardware resource that is implemented using smaller physical FPGA hardware. A prototype operating system, that demonstrates operational solutions to the problems using the Xilinx XC6200 FPGA, is described.