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A scalable flexible and dynamic reconfigurable architecture for high performance embedded computing

Abstract : In this thesis, we propose a scalable and customizable reconfigurable computing platform, with a parallel full-duplex switched communication network, and a software execution model to redefine the computation, communication and reconfiguration paradigms in High Performance Embedded Systems. High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) applications are becoming highly sophisticated and resource consuming for three reasons. First, they should capture and process real-time data from several I/O sources in parallel. Second, they should adapt their functionalities according to the application or environment variations within given Size Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints. Third, since they process several parallel I/O sources, applications are often distributed on multiple computing nodes making them highly parallel. Due to the hardware parallelism and I/O bandwidth offered by Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), application can be duplicated several times to process parallel I/Os, making Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) the favorite execution model for designers implementing parallel architectures on FPGAs. Furthermore Dynamic Partial Reconfiguration (DPR) feature allows efficient reuse of limited hardware resources, making FPGA a highly attractive solution for such applications. The problem with current HPEC systems is that, they are usually built to meet the needs of a specific application, i.e., lacks flexibility to upgrade the system or reuse existing hardware resources. On the other hand, applications that run on such hardware architectures are constantly being upgraded. Thus there is a real need for flexible and scalable hardware architectures and parallel execution models in order to easily upgrade the system and reuse hardware resources within acceptable time bounds. Thus these applications face challenges such as obsolescence, hardware redesign cost, sequential and slow reconfiguration, and wastage of computing power.Addressing the challenges described above, we propose an architecture that allows the customization of computing nodes (FPGAs), broadcast of data (I/O, bitstreams) and reconfiguration several or a subset of computing nodes in parallel. The software environment leverages the potential of the hardware switch, to provide support for the SPMD execution model. Finally, in order to demonstrate the benefits of our architecture, we have implemented a scalable distributed secure H.264 encoding application along with several avionic communication protocols for data and control transfers between the nodes. We have used a FMC based high-speed serial Front Panel Data Port (sFPDP) data acquisition protocol to capture, encode and encrypt RAW video streams. The system has been implemented on 3 different FPGAs, respecting the SPMD execution model. In addition, we have also implemented modular I/Os by swapping I/O protocols dynamically when required by the system. We have thus demonstrated a scalable and flexible architecture and a parallel runtime reconfiguration model in order to manage several parallel input video sources. These results represent a conceptual proof of a massively parallel dynamically reconfigurable next generation embedded computers.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 6:45:30 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03359056, version 1


Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan. A scalable flexible and dynamic reconfigurable architecture for high performance embedded computing. Computer Science [cs]. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015VALE0029⟩. ⟨tel-03359056⟩



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