Reconfigurable Application Specific Computing
Reconfigurable computing is defined as a computer having hardware that can be reconfigured to implement application-specific functions. Though originally proposed in the 1960s, it only started to find its way into commercial computing systems in the 2000s. This has been due to the rapid advances in Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or FPGAs.
SGI's Reconfigurable Application Specific Computing (RASC) typically consists of a blade for an Altix system with one or more FPGAs on-board. These are connected to the rest of the system through the NUMAlink fabric, and they can be configured to provide faster results for critical sections of the customer's workload than the main CPU could. More information is available from the RASC Users Guide on TechPubs.