Macro-programmable reconfigurable stream processor for collaborative manufacturing systems
Growing demand for high speed processing of streamed data (e.g. video-streams, digital signal streams, communication streams, etc.) in the advanced manufacturing environments requires the adequate cost-efficient stream-processing platforms. Platforms based on the embedded microprocessors often cannot satisfy performance requirements due to limitations associated with the sequential nature of data execution process. During the last decade, development and prototyping of the above embedded platforms has started moving towards utilization of the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices. However, the programming of an application to the FPGA based platform became an issue due to relatively complicated hardware design process. The paper presents an approach which allows simplification of the application programming process by utilization of: (i) the uniformed FPGA platform with the dynamically reconfigurable architecture, (ii) a programming technique based on a temporal partitioning of the application in segments which can be described in terms of macro-operators (function specific virtual components). The paper describes the concept of the approach, presents the analytical investigation and experimental verification of the cost-effectiveness of the proposed platform comparing to the platforms based on sequential micro-processors. It is also shown that the approach can be beneficially utilized in collaborative design and manufacturing.
KeywordsReconfigurable computing FPGA Temporal partitioning Dynamic reconfiguration Stream processing system
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