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The RAMP Project
Processor architectures have crossed a critical threshold. Manufactures have given up attempting to extract ever more performance from a single core and instead have turned to multi-core designs.

However, little is known on how to build, program, or manage systems of 64 to 1024 processors, and the computer architecture community lacks the basic infrastructure tools required to carry out this research.

Fortunately, Moore's law has not only enabled these dense multi-core chips, it has also enabled extremely dense FPGAs. Today, one to two dozen cores can be programmed into a single FPGA. With multiple FPGAs on a board and multiple boards in a system, large complex architectures can be explored.

Such a system will not just invigorate multiprocessors research in the architecture community, but since processors cores can run at 100 to 200 MHz, a large scale multiprocessor would be fast enough to run operating systems and large programs at speeds sufficient to support software research. Hence, we believe such a system will accelerate research across all the fields that touch multiple processors: operating systems, compilers, debuggers, programming languages, scientific libraries, and so on.

Thus the acronym RAMP, for Research Accelerator for Multiple Processors.

If you're interested in getting involved, we recommend the Getting Started page.