Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)


Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Sean W. Smith


DARPA’s Guaranteed Architecture for Physical Security (GAPS) project requires a device to provably enforce security policies. As part of a solution that GE and Dartmouth have proposed for the GAPS project, parsers for Parsing Expression Grammars (PEGs) are required to run on a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). There exist programs, like Pegmatite, which produce PEG parsers written in VHDL, but these parsers have not yet been run on FPGAs. They have been run in simulators where they have been tested for correctness, but they need to be adapted for execution on FPGAs (Lucas et al., 2021).

This thesis explores the process of modifying existing VHDL PEG parsers to run on FPGAs and optimizing their performance. We contribute two techniques to achieve performance improvements: (1) exploiting data parallelism, and (2) parsing the input packet as it arrives instead of waiting for the entire packet to be received. We were not able to execute our solution consistently on FPGAs, so we present an analysis of these techniques through simulations.