Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (12-05-11): Bringing HPC to embedded designs - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (12-05-11): Bringing HPC to embedded designs


Embedded Newsletter for 12-05-2011

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December 5, 2011

Tech Focus: Bringing HPC to embedded designs


Embedding HPC: A rocket in your pocket

Accelerating High-Performance Computing With FPGAs

Programming FPGAs for High-Performance Computing Acceleration

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

With the number of transistors on SoC processors they use literally doubling every couple of years, embedded systems developers are faced with an continually changing design environment in which capabilities are available that even a few years past would have required of a high performance computer (HPC) or supercomputer.

The challenges – and opportunities – facing the embedded developer are captured succinctly by Pete Decher of Mentor Graphics in “Embedded HPC: a rocket in your pocket,” in December's ESD Magazine . He points out that with embedded multi-core processors, the type of calculations that would have traditionally required a supercomputer can now be performed at lower power in a real-time, embedded environment. .

One example is the iPad 2, which according to Jack Ganssle, in “Microprocessors change the world , ” has about the same compute capability as the Cray 2 supercomputer built in 1985. As Decher points out, embedded HPC is all about data processing using complex numerical algorithms to transform real world information into actionable information. Some examples are sensor data streams, automotive anti-collision systems, high end networking , home security systems, and medical diagnostics.

Collected here are a number of articles in which embedded HPC capabilities were applied to a diverse array of applications in network storage systems, vector processing, optical interconnect , and medical imaging. Also included are some articles on how to use these capabilities in your embedded design, of which my Editor's Top Picks are:

A cloud guide for HPC
A real time HPC approach
High end networking on the Cell processo r

Beyond what is now possible, such HPC capabilities are now being applied to how we will interact in the future with the embedded and personal computing devices in our lives, according to the authors of “Gesture recognition: first step toward 3D UIs?” in the December ESD Magazine . With such capabilities, they write “soon a person sitting on the couch will be able to control the lights and TV with a wave of the hand, and a car will automatically detect if a pedestrian is close by .”

Design How-Tos

Embedding HPC: A rocket in your pocket

New embedded processors, single-board computers, and software development tools are enabling super-computing-like applications on embedded systems. Here are a few recent advances in HPC for embedded systems.

Gesture recognition–first step toward 3D UIs?

Gesture recognition is the first step to fully 3D interaction with computing devices. The authors outline the challenges and techniques to overcome them in embedded systems.

Gaming the system–high-end networking on the Cell processor

Complex multicore processors are upon us. With the right open source tools and a commercial RTOS, they don't have to be monsters to program.

It's a bumpy road to high-speed networking

100GbE and greater density line cards can help provide the network bandwidth demanded by video traffic and mobile backhaul applications. Here is the latest status of 40GbE/100GbE standards and the system interconnects required for line cards with densities of 100 Gbps and greater.

Taking a multicore DSP approach to medical ultrasound beamforming

A Product How-to on using Freescale MSC8156 multicore DSP to produce diagnostically useful medical ultrasound imaging results, using no more than about 38% of the resources of the DSP, leaving enough room to also perform Doppler imaging.

Analyzing multithreaded applications—Identifying performance bottlenecks on multicore systems

Here's a step by step method for identifying and analyzing bottlenecks in multithreaded applications on multicore systems.

Making the shift to optical interconnect with PCIe Gen3

This tutorial looks at the benefits of PCIe Gen3 as an optical interconnect, in the context of the copper dilemma, optical fibers and pertinent advances in optical technology, such as LightPeak, and the cost/power tradeoffs.

A real-time HPC approach for optimizing Intel multi-core architectures (Part 1 of 3)

In this three part series, the authors present findings that demonstrate how a novel approach with Intel hardware and software technology is allowing for real-time high-performance computing (HPC) in order to solve engineering problems with multi-core processors that were not possible only five years ago.

Reconfigurable Computing: Custom Supercomputers on Demand?

RC creates an unprecedented opportunity for orders of magnitude improvement in GFlops-per-dollar, GFlops-per-watt, and just GFlops.

Achieve higher InfiniBand performance with on-load processing

There is some debate in the InfiniBand community about whether HCAs should employ on-load or off-load protocol processing. Adherents of each camp claim higher performance. In this article, we will look at real-world application testing that compares the two approaches.

Vector processing: Finally, high-performance software-defined radio

Although SDR has seen sporadic use in different areas, one barrier has stood in the way of its general proliferation – performance.

Lessons learned: Network-based processing versus host-based processing

Onload or offload? Tests show that network offloading solutions are critical for high-performance system scalability, performance and productivity. Onloading solutions can negatively impact system efficiency, and are not recommended for systems with certain requirements.

Embedded Systems Bookshelf


Embedded Books Reading Room
Bernard Cole's favorite links to book excerpts.


Engineer's Bookshelf
Airport fiction blows. A look at books other engineers are reading and why you should read them, too. Recommend and write a review yourself. E-mail Brian Fuller.

Jack Ganssle's Bookshelf
A list of book reviews by Jack Ganssle, contributing technical editor of Embedded Systems Design and Embedded.com.

Max's Cool Beans
Clive “Max” Maxfield, the editor on Programmable Logic DesignLine, often writes about interesting books.


Movea's GestureBuilder enables gesture control in broad range of consumer electronics

Movea has announced it is making gesture recognition and gesture database design capabilities available to consumer electronic OEMs and systems integrators though its GestureBuilder software.

Microchip integrates wireless transmitter with MCU

The single-chip design targets remote control, security, and keyless entry systems.

ARM releases free version of its Development Studio for Android platforms

One type of virtual prototype is a software development kit, specifically designed for application developers who have no need to know about the underlying hardware platform…

World's smallest dual-axis gyroscopes stabilize optical images in Smartphones

InvenSense Inc. has launched a family ofdual-axis gyroscopes, IDG-2020 and IXZ-2020, that address the marketneeds for optical image stabilization (OIS) in smartphones.

Skyworks SPDT switches target access points

The small-package SKY13348-374LF and SKY13370-374LF are well suited for use in high-power access points and router applications given their matched ports which reduce low noise amplifier pulling and deliver better system performance.

Kingston launches its fastest USB flash drive

Kingston Digital, Inc. has released the Kingston DataTraveler® HyperX® 3.0, which is designed for enthusiasts and gamers, and features the fastest speeds and largest capacities that Kingston has to offer in a USB Flash drive.


Microprocessors change the world

Before the microprocessor, it was absurd to consider adding a computer to a product; now, in general, only the quirky build anything electronic without embedded intelligence.

The semiconductor revolution


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