Francois Abel


Francois Abel


Research Staff Member - cloudFPGA, Interconnection Networks, Accelerators, VLSI Design


IBM Research Europe - Zurich Zurich, Switzerland


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.

What 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.

Previous research projects

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 Switching

   [2004-2007] The OSMOSIS research project

High-Speed Packet Switching ASICs

   [2000-03] Prizma-DPRS Switch Architecture

   [1999-00] Prizma-EP Switch Chip (IBM PowerPRS 64G)

   [1998-99] Network Processor Load Balancing for High-Speed Links

   [1997-98] Prizma-E Switch Chip (IBM PowerPRS 28G)

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 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.





Tape research

  • Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

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