Got a problem getting enough performance out of your processor-based embedded system? You might want to watch a 14-minute video that does a nice job of explaining how you can develop hardware accelerators directly from your C/C++ code using the Xilinx SDK.
How much acceleration do you need? If you don’t know for sure, the video gives an example of an autonomous drone with vision and control tasks that need real-time acceleration.
What are your alternatives? If you need to accelerate your code, you can:
- Increase your processor’s clock speed, likely requiring a faster speed grade
- Add more processor cores to share the load
- Switch to a higher-end, code-compatible processor
Unfortunately, each of these three alternatives increases power consumption. There’s another alternative however that can actually cut power consumption. That alternative’s based on the use of Xilinx All Programmable Zynq SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs. By moving critical code into custom hardware accelerators implements in the programmable logic incorporated into all Zynq family members, you can relieve the processor of the associated processing burden and actually slow the processor’s clock speed, thus reducing power. It’s quite possible to cut overall power consumption using this approach.
Ah, but implementing these accelerators. Aye, there’s the rub!
It turns out that implementation of these hardware accelerators might not be as difficult as you imagine. The Xilinx SDK is already a C/C++ development environment based on familiar IDE and compiler technology. Under the hood, the SDK serves as a single cockpit for all Zynq-based development work—software and hardware. It also includes SDSoC, the piece of the puzzle you need to convert C/C++ code into acceleration hardware using a 3-step process:
- Code profiling to identify time-consuming tasks that are critical to real-time operation
- Software/hardware partitioning based on the profiling data
- Software/hardware compilation based on the system partitioning
One development platform, SDK, serves all members of the Zynq SoC and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC device families, giving you a huge price/performance range.
Here’s that 14-minute video:
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August 3, 2017 at 06:42AM