Reconfigurable hardware in wearable computing nodes
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Christian Plessl 1 Rolf Enzler 2 Herbert Walder 1 Jan Beutel 1 Marco Platzner 1 Lothar Thiele 1 1 Computer Engineering Lab 2 Electronics Lab ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Reconfigurable Hardware in Wearable Computing Nodes. Outline. Characteristics of Wearable Computers

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Reconfigurable Hardware in Wearable Computing Nodes

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Christian Plessl1

Rolf Enzler2

Herbert Walder1

Jan Beutel1

Marco Platzner1

Lothar Thiele1

1Computer Engineering Lab

2Electronics Lab

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Reconfigurable Hardware in Wearable Computing Nodes


Outline

  • Characteristics of Wearable Computers

  • Hardware architectures

  • Reconfigurable Devices

  • Use of Reconfigurable HW in Wearable Computing

  • Wearable Unit with Reconfigurable Modules (WURM)

  • Case studies, Prototypes

  • Conclusions


Wearable Computing Systems…… as we see it

  • Distinctive Features:

    • embedded

    • distributed

    • heterogeneous

    • connected via body area network

  • Design characteristics:

    • multi-mode performance

    • energy awareness

    • high flexibility / adaptability


The Quest for an Optimal Architecture for Wearable Computers

  • Conflicting goals:

    • high-performance

    • low-power

    • flexibility

Flexibility

CPU

DSP

RC

ASIC

Performance1/Power consumption


Reconfigurable (RC) Devices - Hardware

  • Predominant device: FPGA

  • CLBs(Configurable Logic Blocks)

  • Routing Ressources

  • IOBs (Input / Output Blocks)


RC Devices – Application Domains

  • RC most efficient for:

    • regular and parallelizable operations

    • bit-level operations

    • custom bitwidths

  • Examples:

    • Mencer et al [ICASSP’98]: IDEA encryption:

    • Stitt et al [FCCM’02]: Energy savings of 71% on a set of embedded benchmarks (measured on Triscend E5)

    • Mobile multimedia (IMEC Gecko plattform)

DSPCryptoCommunication


Use for RC in Wearable Computers

  • ASIC on demand

    • application specific coprocessors

    • available locally, or sent via wireless network

    • new circuits provided when new applications arise

  • Adaptive interfaces

    • device provides generic I/O pins and transceivers

    • protocol for communication is not fixed, but software defined in FPGA

    • Interface might be simple or complex

      • SPI, I2C, Ethernet, RS232 (simple)

      • IP, UDP, TCP (complex)

    • Offload Parts of communication protocol handling


Use for RC in Wearable Computers (2)

Gyro sensors

706 kbit/s

I2C

ADPCMCompression

Feature Extract-tion & Analysis

Arm motionsensing

170 kbit/s

3 bit/s

120 bit/s

Main Module

Main Module

Main Module

Context Engine

Context Engine

Harddisk


Research Issues – What’s needed

  • HW Plattforms:

    • RC partially reconfigurable

    • RC fast reconfigurable

    • CPU – RC interface fast and versatile

  • SW Tools:

    • Synthesis / compilation

      • abstraction for hw tasks

      • creation of partially reconfigurable tasks

    • RC Operating System

      • multitasking of RC

      • interfaces hw/sw


WURM - Wearable Unit with RC Modules

  • WURM Hardware Architecture

    • CPU for:

      • legacy C-code, binary only code

      • low-intensity, background tasks

    • RC unit for:

      • high-performance tasks

      • low-power tasks


WURM - Hardware Prototype

  • XESS board, multitude of I/O interfaces

  • Soft CPU (LEON, 32bit SPARC)

  • BTnode (custom Bluetooth Module)


WURM - SW Architecture

  • WURM OS layer:

    • loading, placing and scheduling of hw/sw tasks

    • inter-task communication, task I/O

    • sw tasks handled by realtime os

WURM-OS

CPU

RC


Audio stream player

Complete WURM on FPGA

LEON 32bit SPARC soft-CPU core

RTEMS (real-time OS)

ADPCM decoder (Intel DVI compliant)

dynamic reconfiguration

FPGA

PCM / ADPCMaudio data

CPU

(LEON core,

RTEMS)

PCM/

ADPCM

Player

Ethernet

Case Study 1: ASIC on Demand


Case Study 2: Adaptive Interface

  • Bluetooth/Ethernet-Bridge

    • IP access point for WURM modules via Bluetooth

    • Minimal TCP/IP stack

    • Ethernet MAC

((( )))

Hard-ware IP stack

IP Network

BTnodeBluetoothmodule

RS232

Ethernet


Conclusions & Next Steps

  • Concept for reconfigurable hardware in wearable computing

  • Experimental status:

    • first implementation of partially reconfigurable WURM prototype including BTnode

    • tool for creation of partially reconfigurable tasks

    • multi-tasking on RC demonstrated

  • Next Steps:

    • autonomous reconfiguration, receive tasks over network

    • task and resource management in WURM OS


Backup


BTnode


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