Real-time embedded systems powered by FPGA dynamic partial self-reconfiguration: a case study oriented to biometric recognition applications
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This work aims to pave the way for an efficient open system architecture applied to embedded electronic applications to manage the processing of computationally complex algorithms at real-time and low-cost. The target is to define a standard architecture able to enhance the performance-cost trade-off delivered by other alternatives nowadays in the market like general-purpose multi-core processors. Our approach, sustained by hardware/software (HW/SW) co-design and run-time reconfigurable computing, is synthesizable in SRAM-based programmable logic. As proof-of-concept, a run-time partially reconfigurable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is addressed to carry out a specific application of high-demanding computational power such as an automatic fingerprint authentication system (AFAS). Biometric personal recognition is a good example of compute-intensive algorithm composed of a series of image processing tasks executed in a sequential order. In our pioneer conception, these tasks are partitioned and synthesized first in a series of coprocessors that are then instantiated and executed multiplexed in time on a partially reconfigurable region of the FPGA. The implementation benchmark of the AFAS either as a pure software approach on a PC platform under a dual-core processor (Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 at 1.83 GHz) or as a reconfigurable FPGA co-design (identical algorithm partitioned in HW/SW tasks operating at 50 or 100 MHz on the second smallest device of the Xilinx Virtex-4 LX family) highlights a speed-up of one order of magnitude in favor of the FPGA alternative. These results let point out biometric recognition as a sensible killer application for run-time reconfigurable computing, mainly in terms of efficiently balancing computational power, functional flexibility and cost. Such features, reached through partial reconfiguration, are easily portable today to a broad range of embedded applications with identical system architecture.
CitationFons, F. [et al.]. Real-time embedded systems powered by FPGA dynamic partial self-reconfiguration: a case study oriented to biometric recognition applications. "Journal of real-time image processing", 14 Gener 2011, núm. Special Issue, p. 1-23.