Whilst the high throughput and low latency requirements for the next generation AO real-time control systems have posed a significant challenge to von Neumann architecture processor systems, the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) has emerged as a long term solution with high performance on throughput and excellent predictability on latency. Moreover, FPGA devices have highly capable programmable interfacing, which lead to more highly integrated system.
Nevertheless, a single FPGA is still not enough: multiple FPGA devices need to be clustered to perform the required subaperture processing and the reconstruction computation. In an AO real-time control system, the memory bandwidth is often the bottleneck of the system, simply because a vast amount of supporting data, e.g. pixel calibration maps and the reconstruction matrix, need to be accessed within a short period. The cluster, as a general computing architecture, has excellent scalability in processing throughput, memory bandwidth, memory capacity, and communication bandwidth. Problems, such as task distribution, node communication, system verification, are discussed.