In the past, there was a hard line between software and hardware systems. Software-based systems were highly reprogrammable while hardware systems provided optimal performance. Today, systems with reconfigurable hardware provide the performance of hardware and the flexibility to reconfigure. The mission of the Reconfigurable Networking Group is to develop new applications for network-connected systems that make full use of dynamically reconfigurable hardware.

A primary application for the technology involves Internet security. Today's crucial information networks are vulnerable to fast moving Internet worms, and computer viruses, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks have the potential to cripple the Internet and compromise the integrity of the data on the end-user machines. Through the use of reconfigurable hardware platforms, including the Field-programmable Port Extender (FPX) developed at Washington University, the networks can be made both safer, faster, and far more flexible.

Reconfigurable Network Group: September 2005

From left to right: Back Row: Jing Lu, Shobana Padmanabhan, Haoyu Song, Phillip Jones, Adam Covington, Abdel Rigumye, Todd Sproull, Chip Kastner,
Front Row: Young Cho, Andrew Levine, Prof. John Lockwood, Sarang Dharmapurikar, James Moscola, Richard Hough,
Not Shown: Jack Meier