Francois Abel  Francois Abel photo         

contact information

Research Staff Member - cloudFPGA, Interconnection Networks, Accelerators, VLSI Design
Zurich Research Laboratory, Zurich, Switzerland


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  IEEE Communications Society  |  IEEE Computer Society


I'm a research staff member in the Hybrid Cloud Research department of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (Switzerland), which I joined in 1997.

My area of research is high-speed networking, with an emphasis on architecture and VLSI design of server interconnect fabrics and accelerators for computer interconnection networks. I received a Dipl.-Eng. degree from the Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs  (now UTBM), Belfort, France, and a Master's in microelectronics from the Institut Supérieur de Microélectronique Appliquée (now EMSE-ISMIN), Marseille, France.


Research Projects

What currently keeps me busy ?

I am currently working on a disaggregated cloud and computing infrastructure for FPGAs. The goal of this project is to deploy FPGAs at large scale in hyperscale data centers.

Cloud and computing infrastructures

   [2016-Now] cloudFPGA - Field programmable gate arrays for the cloud

   [2014-2015] Enabling FPGAs in Hyperscale Data Centers

Hardware accelerator techniques and their applications

   [2008-2013] Rx Stack Accelerator for 10 GbE Integrated NIC

Optical Packet Switch Project

   [2004-2007] The OSMOSIS research project

High-Speed Packet Switching Projects

   [2000-03] Prizma-DPRS Switch Architecture
                  A single-stage, multi-terabit switch architecture

   [1999-00] Prizma-EP Switch Chip (IBM PowerPRS 64G)
                  Design and verification of a single-chip, lossless 32 x 32 switch fabric with 64 Gb/s throughput

   [1998-99] Network Processor Load Balancing for High-Speed Links
                  In collaboration with the former Network Processor Hardware group at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory

   [1997-98] Prizma-E Switch Chip (IBM PowerPRS 28G)
                  A single-chip, lossless 16x16 switch fabric with 28 Gb/s throughput

Former Life

Before joining IBM in 1997, I was a hardware engineer at Telmat Informatique, where I designed architectures and electronic boards for Unix multiprocessor servers and Transputer-based parallel supercomputers.

During that period I participated in several European projects (Esprit) in which I conducted research in the fields of real-time 3-D graphics (The Spirit Workstation) and Transputer-based networking (Supernode).


IBM Invention Achievement Award, Third Plateau, January 2006.
Best Paper Award, IEEE HOT Interconnects 13, Stanford, CA, August 2005.
IBM Research Division Award, For 2002 Communication Systems publication, June 2003.
IBM Invention Achievement Award, Second Plateau, August 2002.
IBM Invention Achievement Award, First Plateau, April 2002.
IBM Research Division Award, For contributions to the PRIZMA-EP Switch Chip verification, November 2001.
IBM Research Division Award, For contributions to the PRIZMA Atlantic Switch, May 1999.