DISL: A Dynamic Infrastructure Services Layer for Reconfigurable Hardware

Open programmable hardware offers tremendous opportunities for increased innovation, lower cost, greater flexibility, and customization in systems we can now build at the cloud’s far edge.  However, programming hardware such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays has been extremely difficult and time-consuming due to proprietary tooling and inefficient development flows. Introducing the Dynamic Infrastructure Service Layer (DISL) project – an open source abstraction layer that enables a practical and productive approach to co-designing custom FPGA  systems.  

For software developers, DISL provides an interface where the entire hardware stack can be fully expressed and customized using only configuration files. It also provides a library of tools needed to manage FPGA deployments for both wired and wireless configurations.  For hardware developers, DISL provides a mechanism for packaging IP blocks in a manner that makes these IP blocks portable across FPGA boards, as well as more conducive to customizations and modifications. Finally,  the DISL system builder combines the system configuration (generated by domain-specific software) with hardware building blocks (from the DISL component library)  to produce custom far-edge systems. 

Open Source Artifacts


Presentations and Invited Talks

  • Enhancing Programmable Hardware Capability and Usability across HPC, Cloud, and Edge,” NSF IUCRC: i-Scale Planning Workshop; Boston, MA; March 21, 2023
  • CoDes: A co-design research lab to advance specialized hardware projects,” MOC Alliance Workshop, 2023
  • CoDesign in Action: Dynamic Infrastructure Services Layer (DISL),” Red Hat Research Days, October 18, 2023.
  • FPGAs Everywhere in Large-Scale Computer SystemsInternational Supercomputing Conference; Hamburg, Germany; May 31, 2022.


Project Team

Principal Investigator: Martin Herbordt
Red Hat Collaborators: Uli Drepper and Ahmed Sanaullah
PhD Students: Sahan Bandara
Undergraduate students: Basil Ng

Project Poster

Link to full size poster

This project is supported by the Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University.