per-a-abstract

Ph D abstract - Per Andersson

Efficient Modelling and Synthesis of Data Intensive Reconfigurable Systems

Digital systems are integrated in our environment and have become a
natural part of our every day life. As we rely more on these systems
our expectations on them increases. We expect them to perform new
tasks, communicate and cooperate. The complexity of these systems are
increasing. The increasing complexity and the requirement for
flexibility, which allows the system to adapt and evolve over time,
makes them difficult to design and realise using existing techniques
and tools. This thesis address different problems in the design process
of flexible digital systems.

We present our computational model Image Processing-Data Flow Graphs
(IP-DFG), a computational model tailored for modelling and
implementation of image processing algorithms. IP-DFG is based on Data
Flow Graphs (DFGs), which have been extended with hierarchy and
explicit support for loops. This allows for a natural representation of
image processing tasks.

The computational model IP-DFG have been integrated into our run-time
system IPAPI. IPAPI manages the execution of all image processing
related tasks in our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the WITAS
project. Combining a Java implementation of IPAPI and a library of
highly optimised implementations of a few key IP-DFG nodes gives high
flexibility and sufficient performance. The flexibility greatly
simplified the process of migrating the functionality from a simulated
system on desktop computers to the on-board system of the UAV.

Hardware acceleration have successfully been used to increase the
performance in many applications. We discuss different trade-offs
during the design process of hardware accelerated systems and present
our hardware software interface. We also suggests a design flow for
rapid prototyping of System on Programmable Chips (SoPCs).

One part of the design flow is automatic hardware compilation from
Java. Our hardware compiler takes a new approach to hardware
compilation. The source code is partitioned based on its behaviour and
characteristics. Each partitioned is treated separately, allowing
domain specific optimisations and code generators to be used.

Our work with hardware compilation have been focused on memory
accesses. We use data dependence analysis to detect data reuse. Data to
be reduced are stored in local memories close to the data path. This
drastically reduce the number of accesses to the data being processed,
allowing large data structures to be stored in cost efficient but slow
external memory while still running the data path at full speed.

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Last modified on May 2005 by Anne Moe