Year of Publication

2003

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. J. Robert Heath

Abstract

The evolving concept of Ephemeral State Processing (ESP) is overviewed. ESP allows development of new scalable end-to-end network user services. An evolving macro-level language is being developed to support ESP at the network node level. Three approaches for implementing ESP services at network routers can be considered. One approach is to use the existing processing capability within commercially available network routers. Another approach is to add a small scale existing ASIC based general-purpose processor to an existing network router. This thesis research concentrates on a third approach of developing a special-purpose programmable Ephemeral State Processor (ESPR) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and implementing microarchitecture for deployment within each ESP-capable node to implement ESP service within that node. A unique architectural characteristic of the ESPR is its scalable and temporal Ephemeral State Store (ESS) associative memory, required by the ESP service for storage/retrieval of bounded (short) lifetime ephemeral (tag, value) pairs of application data. The ESPR will be implemented to Programmable Logic Device (PLD) technology within a network node. This offers advantages of reconfigurability, in-field upgrade capability and supports the evolving growth of ESP services. Correct functional and performance operation of the presented ESPR microarchitecture is validated via Hardware Description Language (HDL) post-implementation (virtual prototype) simulation testing. Suggestions of future research related to improving the performance of the ESPR rnicroarchitecture and experimental deployment of ESP are discussed.

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