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RESTful Web Services on Standalone Disaggregated FPGAs
  • Raphael Polig ,
  • Jagath Weerasinghe ,
  • Christoph Hagleitner
Raphael Polig
IBM Research

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Jagath Weerasinghe
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Christoph Hagleitner
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We present an architecture for field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to expose RESTful web services. This architecture allows clients to access accelerated web services from any platform and programming language that can perform RESTful API calls. By using this architecture, the client’s application benefits from a high throughput and low latency web service interface. Traditionally, FPGAs are deployed in CPU-centric infrastructures as worker devices in the form of accelerators. However, for FPGA-centric applications, the overhead of a host CPU diminishes the performance, scalability and energy efficiency. cloudFPGA solves these issues by deploying FPGAs as standalone, disaggregated resources in the DC. Building on top of the cloudFPGA platform, the presented architecture simplifies the integration of FPGA-accelerated functions with cloud applications. A configurable hardware block that can be generated from an OpenAPI-based specification of the web service is used to deploy an FPGA-based application. We compare a natural language processing (NLP) application that is exposed as a web service using the traditional server infrastructure and our RESTful service layer. Measurements show an improvement of 20x in terms of throughput and 4x reduction in mean latency.