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Parallel reconfigurable hardware architectures for video processing applications

Abstract : Embedded video applications are now involved in sophisticated transportation systems like autonomous vehicles. Many challenges faced the designers to build those applications, among them: complex algorithms should be developed, verified and tested under restricted time-to-market constraints, the necessity for design automation tools to increase the design productivity, high computing rates are required to exploit the inherent parallelism to satisfy the real-time constraints, reducing the consumed power to extend the operating duration before recharging the vehicle, etc. In this thesis work, we used FPGA technologies to tackle some of these challenges to design parallel reconfigurable hardware architectures for embedded video streaming applications. First, we implemented a flexible parallel architecture with two main contributions: (1)We proposed a generic model for pixel distribution/collection to tackle the problem of the huge data transferring through the system. The required model parameters were defined then the architecture generation was automated to minimize the development time. (2) We applied frequency scaling as a technique for reducing power consumption. We derived the required equations for calculating the maximum level of parallelism as well as the ones used for calculating the depth of the inserted FIFOs for clock domain crossing. As the number of logic cells on a single FPGA chip increases, moving to higher abstraction design levels becomes inevitable to shorten the time-to-market constraint and to increase the design productivity. During the design phase, it is common to have a space of design alternatives that are different from each other regarding hardware utilization, power consumption and performance. We developed ViPar tool with two main contributions to tackle this problem: (1) An empirical model was introduced to estimate the power consumption based on the hardware utilization (Slice and BRAM) and the operating frequency. In addition to that, we derived the equations for estimating the hardware resources and the execution time for each point during the design space exploration. (2) By defining the main characteristics of the parallel architecture like parallelism level, the number of input/output ports, the pixel distribution pattern, etc. ViPar tool can automatically generate the parallel architecture for the selected designs for implementation. In the context of an industrial collaboration, we used high-level synthesis tools to implement a parallel hardware architecture for Multi-window Sum of Absolute Difference stereo matching algorithm. In this implementation, we presented a set of guiding steps to modify the high-level description code to fit efficiently for hardware implementation as well as we explored the design space for different alternatives in terms of hardware resources, performance, frequency and power consumption. During the thesis work, our designs were implemented and tested experimentally on Xilinx Zynq ZC706 (XC7Z045- FFG900) evaluation board.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 14, 2018 - 5:29:06 PM
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Karim Mohamed Abedallah Ali. Parallel reconfigurable hardware architectures for video processing applications. Signal and Image processing. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambresis, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018VALE0005⟩. ⟨tel-01791649⟩

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