Xar-Trek: Run-Time Execution Migration among FPGAs and Heterogeneous-ISA CPUs

Edson Horta, Ho-Ren Chuang, Naarayanan Rao VSathish, Cesar Philippidis, Antonio Barbalace, Pierre Olivier, Binoy Ravindran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Datacenter servers are increasingly heterogeneous: from x86 host CPUs, to ARM or RISC-V CPUs in NICs/SSDs, to FPGAs. Previous works have demonstrated that migrating application execution at run-time across heterogeneous-ISA CPUs can yield significant performance and energy gains, with relatively little programmer effort. However, FPGAs have often been overlooked in that context: hardware acceleration using FPGAs involves statically implementing select application functions, which prohibits dynamic and transparent migration. We present Xar-Trek, a new compiler and run-time software framework that overcomes this limitation. Xar-Trek compiles an application for several CPU ISAs and select application functions for acceleration on an FPGA, allowing execution migration between heterogeneous-ISA CPUs and FPGAs at run-time. Xar-Trek's run-time monitors server workloads and migrates application functions to an FPGA or to heterogeneous-ISA CPUs based on a scheduling policy. We develop a heuristic policy that uses application workload profiles to make scheduling decisions. Our evaluations conducted on a system with x86-64 server CPUs, ARM64 server CPUs, and an Alveo accelerator card reveal 88%-l% performance gains over no-migration baselines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd International Middleware Conference
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450385343
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2021
Event22nd International Middleware Conference 2021 - Virtual Conference
Duration: 6 Dec 202110 Dec 2021
Conference number: 22


Conference22nd International Middleware Conference 2021
Internet address


  • execution migration
  • heterogeneous-ISA
  • datacenters
  • FPGAs
  • hardware accelerator
  • reconfigurable computing


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