Students: Kyle Gapinski, Paul Kelly, Robert Aschenbrenner
Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Randy Moulic
Hardware virtualization might also be thought of as dynamic hardware, or hardware with plasticity. One disadvantage that hardware has historically had over software is that software is malleable and able to be easily adapted to changes and improvements in infrastructure. Hardware on the other hand usually has to be replaced or physically modified to remain compatible with changing infrastructure. This can be expensive and time-consuming.
Advances in FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) boards have made them smaller, and has increased their computational power. This in turn has made it easier to virtualize the functions of entire components. These virtual components can be modified and interchanged now much in the same way as software applications. This adds an advantage to companies with large, constantly changing infrastructures, such as digital cable video distributors.
Another advantage is that they can reduce the amount of components in their large and complex systems by virtualizing multiple components on a single FPGA board. This project aims to prove that the integration of FPGA boards in a digital cable video distribution system is possible and advantageous.