Software tools for the rapid development of signal processing and communications systems on configurable platforms

Perry, Thomas Paul (2013) Software tools for the rapid development of signal processing and communications systems on configurable platforms. EngD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Programmers and engineers in the domains of high performance computing (HPC) and electronic system design have a shared goal: to define a structure for coordination and communication between nodes in a highly parallel network of processing tasks. Practitioners in both of these fields have recently encountered additional constraints that motivate the use of multiple types of processing device in a hybrid or heterogeneous platform, but constructing a working "program" to be executed on such an architecture is very time-consuming with current domain-specific design methodologies.

In the field of HPC, research has proposed solutions involving the use of alternative computational devices such as FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), since these devices can exhibit much greater performance per unit of power consumption. The appeal of integrating these devices into traditional microprocessor-based systems is mitigated, however, by the greater difficulty in constructing a system for the resulting hybrid platform.

In the field of electronic system design, a similar problem of integration exists. Many of the highly parallel FPGA-based systems that Xilinx and its customers produce for applications such as telecommunications and video processing require the additional use of one or more microprocessors, but coordinating the interactions between existing FPGA cores and software running on the microprocessors is difficult.

The aim of my project is to improve the design flow for hybrid systems by proposing, firstly, an abstract representation of these systems and their components which captures in metadata their different models of computation and communication; secondly, novel design checking, exploration and optimisation techniques based around this metadata; and finally, a novel design methodology in which component and system metadata is used to generate software simulation models.

The effectiveness of this approach will be evaluated through the implementation of two physical-layer telecommunications system models that meet the requirements of the 3GPP "LTE" standard, which is commercially relevant to Xilinx and many other organisations.

Item Type: Thesis (EngD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Walker, Dr. Richard, Benkrid, Dr. Khaled and Parsons, Dr. Mark
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Thomas P. Perry
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4301
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 May 2013 13:39
Last Modified: 30 May 2013 13:39

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