The University of Sussex

The 'evolvable motherboard'. A test platform for the research of intrinsic hardware evolution

Paul Layzell

The study of intrinsic hardware evolution relies heavily on commercial FPGA devices which can be configured in real time. Use of these devices presents certain drawbacks to the researcher desirous of studying the fundamentals of hardware evolution, since he has no control over the architecture or type of basic configurable element. Furthermore, analysis is difficult as only a small region of FPGAs is accessible to test equipment. After discussing current issues arising in evolvable hardware, this paper presents a test platform designed specifically for research into intrinsic hardware evolution, together with experimental results exemplifying its use.

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