Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Aravind R. Dasu


Aravind R. Dasu


Brandon Eames


Paul Israelsen


Field programmable grid arrays (FPGA) are increasingly being adopted as the primary on-board computing system for autonomous deep space vehicles. There is a need to support several complex applications for navigation and image processing in a rapidly responsive on-board FPGA-based computer. This requires exploring and combining several design concepts such as systolic arrays, hardware-software partitioning, and partial dynamic reconfiguration. A microprocessor/co-processor design that can accelerate two single precision oating-point algorithms, extended Kalman lter and a discrete wavelet transform, is presented. This research makes three key contributions. (i) A polymorphic systolic array framework comprising of recofigurable partial region-based sockets to accelerate algorithms amenable to being mapped onto linear systolic arrays. When implemented on a low end Xilinx Virtex4 SX35 FPGA the design provides a speedup of at least 4.18x and 6.61x over a state of the art microprocessor used in spacecraft systems for the extended Kalman lter and discrete wavelet transform algorithms, respectively. (ii) Switchboxes to enable communication between static and partial reconfigurable regions and a simple protocol to enable schedule changes when a socket's contents are dynamically reconfigured to alter the concurrency of the participating systolic arrays. (iii) A hybrid partial dynamic reconfiguration method that combines Xilinx early access partial reconfiguration, on-chip bitstream decompression, and bitstream relocation to enable fast scaling of systolic arrays on the PolySAF. This technique provided a 2.7x improvement in reconfiguration time compared to an o-chip partial reconfiguration technique that used a Flash card on the FPGA board, and a 44% improvement in BRAM usage compared to not using compression.




This work made publicly available electronically on July 18, 2011.