JUCS - Journal of Universal Computer Science 13(3): 440-453, doi: 10.3217/jucs-013-03-0440
Performance Evaluation and Limitations of a Vision System on a Reconfigurable/Programmable Chip
expand article infoJosé Fernández-Pérez, Francisco J. Sánchez-Fernández, Ricardo Carmona-Galán
‡ Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
Open Access
This paper presents a survey of the characteristics of a vision system implemented in a reconfigurable/programmable chip (FPGA). System limitations and performance have been evaluated in order to derive specifications and constraints for further vision system synthesis. The system hereby reported has a conventional architecture. It consists in a central microprocessor (CPU) and the necessary peripheral elements for data acquisition, data storage and communications. It has been designed to stand alone, but a link to the programming and debugging tools running in a digital host (PC) is provided. In order to alleviate the computational load of the central microprocessor, we have designed a visual co-processor in charge of the low-level image processing tasks. It operates autonomously, commanded by the CPU, as another system peripheral. The complete system, without the sensor, has been implemented in a single reconfigurable chip as a SOPC. The incorporation of a dedicated visual co-processor, with specific circuitry for low-level image processing acceleration, enhances the system throughput outperforming conventional processing schemes. However, time-multiplexing of the dedicated hardware remains a limiting factor for the achievable peak computing power. We have quantified this effect and sketched possible solutions, like replication of the specific image processing hardware.
image processing, system-on-a-programmable-chip, implementation, algorithms implemented in hardware, hardware architecture