System-on-Chip (SoC) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Circuit and Signal Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2025 | Viewed by 3009

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Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: digital electronic; time-to-digital converter; digital-to-time converter; field programmable gate array; system-on-chip
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The evolution of digital technology is firmly steered by key concepts such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and the evolution of system-on-chip (SoC). These pivotal elements seamlessly integrate programmable logic, creating a potent synergy that manifests in spatial and temporal computing. While SoCs stand as a milestone in technological evolution, incorporating processors and reconfigurable logic areas, FPGAs emerge as fundamental devices for the rapid development of complex digital circuits. Together, SoCs and FPGAs create an ecosystem that not only accelerates the time to market but also opens the doors to a new computing paradigm, where flexibility and spatial–temporal optimization are at the forefront of digital innovation. The significance of these FPGA and SoC architectures extends beyond mere computing power, influencing the design of advanced devices in sectors such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and robotics, radically transforming how we interact with technology in our daily lives.

Prof. Dr. Nicola Lusardi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • system-on-chip (SoC)
  • field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)
  • real-time processing
  • programmable temporal computing
  • programmable parallel computing
  • time mode

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 11258 KiB  
Article
Lightweight and Error-Tolerant Stereo Matching with a Stochastic Computing Processor
by Seongmo An, Jongwon Oh, Sangho Lee, Jinyeol Kim, Youngwoo Jeong, Jeongeun Kim and Seung Eun Lee
Electronics 2024, 13(11), 2024; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics13112024 - 22 May 2024
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Stereo matching, utilized in diverse fields, poses a challenge to systems in resource-constrained environments due to the significant growth of computational load with image resolution. The challenge is crucial for the systems because fields utilizing stereo matching require short operational time for real-time [...] Read more.
Stereo matching, utilized in diverse fields, poses a challenge to systems in resource-constrained environments due to the significant growth of computational load with image resolution. The challenge is crucial for the systems because fields utilizing stereo matching require short operational time for real-time applications and low power architecture. Stochastic computing (SC) is able to be a valuable approach to address the challenge by reducing the computational load by representing binary numbers with stochastic sequences, which are encoded as a probability value, and by leveraging the concept of mathematical probability. Also, it is possible for a system to be error-tolerant by utilizing the characteristics of stochastic computing. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an approach for lightweight and error-tolerant stereo matching with a hardware-implemented stochastic computing processor. To verify the feasibility and error tolerance of the proposed system, we implemented the proposed system and conducted experiments comparing depth maps with or without stochastic computing by calculating similarities. According to the experimental results, the proposed system indicated no significant differences in output depth maps and achieved an improvement in the depth maps from error-injected input images by an average of 58.95%. Therefore, we demonstrated that stereo matching with stochastic computing is feasible and error-tolerant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System-on-Chip (SoC) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design)
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17 pages, 1675 KiB  
Article
Highly Fault-Tolerant Systolic-Array-Based Matrix Multiplication
by Hsin-Chen Lu, Liang-Ying Su and Shih-Hsu Huang
Electronics 2024, 13(9), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics13091780 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Matrix multiplication plays a crucial role in various engineering and scientific applications. Cannon’s algorithm, executed within two-dimensional systolic arrays, significantly enhances computational efficiency through parallel processing. However, as the matrix size increases, reliability issues become more prominent. Although the previous work has proposed [...] Read more.
Matrix multiplication plays a crucial role in various engineering and scientific applications. Cannon’s algorithm, executed within two-dimensional systolic arrays, significantly enhances computational efficiency through parallel processing. However, as the matrix size increases, reliability issues become more prominent. Although the previous work has proposed a fault-tolerant mechanism, it is only suitable for scenarios with a limited number of faulty processing elements (PEs). This paper introduces a pair-matching mechanism, assigning a fault-free PE as a proxy for each faulty PE to execute its tasks. Our fault-tolerant mechanism comprises two stages: in the first stage, each fault-free PE completes its designated computations; in the second stage, computations intended for each faulty PE are executed by its assigned fault-free PE proxy. The experimental results demonstrate that compared to the previous work, our approach not only significantly improves the fault tolerance of systolic arrays (applicable to scenarios with a higher number of faulty PEs) but also reduces circuit areas. Therefore, the proposed approach proves effective in practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System-on-Chip (SoC) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design)
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21 pages, 5025 KiB  
Article
New High-Rate Timestamp Management with Real-Time Configurable Virtual Delay and Dead Time for FPGA-Based Time-to-Digital Converters
by Fabio Garzetti, Gabriele Bonanno, Nicola Lusardi, Enrico Ronconi, Andrea Costa and Angelo Geraci
Electronics 2024, 13(6), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics13061124 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Modern applications require the ability to measure time events with high resolution, a full-scale range, and multiple input channels. Time-to-Digital Converters (TDCs) are a popular option to convert time intervals into timestamps. To reduce the time-to-market and Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs, a Field-Programmable [...] Read more.
Modern applications require the ability to measure time events with high resolution, a full-scale range, and multiple input channels. Time-to-Digital Converters (TDCs) are a popular option to convert time intervals into timestamps. To reduce the time-to-market and Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs, a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) implementation has been chosen. The high number of requested bits and channels, however, gives rise to routing congestion issues when routed in a parallel manner. In this paper, we will propose and analyze a novel solution, the Belt-Bus (BB), which involves a parallel-to-serial conversion of the timestamp stream coming from the TDC while maintaining chronological order and a sufficient high rate, and flagging the presence of timestamp overflow. Moreover, two new useful features are added. The first is a “Virtual Delay” to compensate for offsets due to cable length and FPGA routing path mismatch. The second is a “Virtual Dead-Time” to filter out unforeseen events. Finally, the BB was tested on a Xilinx 28 nm 7-Series Kintex-7 325T FPGA, achieving an overall data rate of 199.9 Msps with very limited resource usage (i.e., lower than a total of 4.5%), consuming only 480 mW in a 16-channel implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System-on-Chip (SoC) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design)
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29 pages, 7863 KiB  
Article
Agile FPGA Computing at the 5G Edge: Joint Management of Accelerated and Software Functions for Open Radio Access Technologies
by Nikolaos Bartzoudis, José Rubio Fernández, David López-Bueno, Antonio Román Villarroel and Angelos Antonopoulos
Electronics 2024, 13(4), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics13040701 - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 981
Abstract
This paper presents ReproRun, a flexible and extensible run-time framework for the reconfiguration of functions in field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices used in popular software-defined radio (SDR) platforms. The FPGA devices embed a hardwired or soft processing system (PS) which communicates with [...] Read more.
This paper presents ReproRun, a flexible and extensible run-time framework for the reconfiguration of functions in field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices used in popular software-defined radio (SDR) platforms. The FPGA devices embed a hardwired or soft processing system (PS) which communicates with the programmable logic (PL) using a standard embedded bus interface. In order to apply a seamless run-time partial reconfiguration, we made use of all the related building blocks, design guidelines, and tools offered by AMD-Xilinx. In ReproRun, each partial bitstream targeting a reconfigurable region (RR) of the PL area comes with its respective firmware (i.e., software functions) that runs on the PS side. Our work guarantees run-time updates of the firmware without interrupting the functionality of other software processes running in the PS or PL, by employing a specialized controller, denoted as Run-timE firmWare reconfIguration contRollEr (REWIRE). The latter leverages the open asymmetric multiprocessing framework (OpenAMP). The partial bitstreams and respective firmware are fetched from a remote location using the trivial file transfer protocol (TFTP). ReproRun can be applied in different FPGA accelerators residing in disaggregated open radio access network (RAN) equipment, adaptive radio access technologies, and Edge servers hosting virtualized functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System-on-Chip (SoC) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design)
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