Design and Application of a Scalable Embedded Systems’ Architecture with an FPGA Based Operating Infrastucture


Embedded systems may be designed from a few, properly chosen types of processing components equipped with interfaces for their networking to meet almost arbitrary performance requirements. In this work we describe a particular scalable architecture of this kind using both standard processor and FPGA processing components. It supports multiple FPGA applications through standard FPGA functions implementing the net-working support, and also provides standard CPU functions on the FPGA for the sequential control of application circuits and for their interfacing to the network. On standard von-Neumann machines, a set of such standard functions implemented with the resources of the machine but not directly available from it, and providing a higher level runtime environment for applications would be called an operating system. After defining the scalable architecture and the runtime support, system design and programming (in particular, of FPGA networks) can be automated. We demonstrate this through a simple algorithm to determine the required mix of components for a given application. The architecture is further supported by a system-level, compiled coordination language for functions compiled with the standard processor and FPGA tools

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