A Describing Method of an Image Processing Software in C for a High-Level Synthesis Considering a Function Chaining

Akira YAMAWAKI  Seiichi SERIKAWA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E101-D   No.2   pp.324-334
Publication Date: 2018/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Reconfigurable Systems)
Category: Design Methodology and Platform
Keyword: 
high-level synthesis,  FPGA,  describing method,  image processing,  function chaining,  

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Summary: 
This paper shows a describing method of an image processing software in C for high-level synthesis (HLS) technology considering function chaining to realize an efficient hardware. A sophisticated image processing would be built on the sequence of several primitives represented as sub-functions like the gray scaling, filtering, binarization, thinning, and so on. Conventionally, generic describing methods for each sub-function so that HLS technology can generate an efficient hardware module have been shown. However, few studies have focused on a systematic describing method of the single top function consisting of the sub-functions chained. According to the proposed method, any number of sub-functions can be chained, maintaining the pipeline structure. Thus, the image processing can achieve the near ideal performance of 1 pixel per clock even when the processing chain is long. In addition, implicitly, the deadlock due to the mismatch of the number of pushes and pops on the FIFO connecting the functions is eliminated and the interpolation of the border pixels is done. The case study on a canny edge detection including the chain of some sub-functions demonstrates that our proposal can easily realize the expected hardware mentioned above. The experimental results on ZYNQ FPGA show that our proposal can be converted to the pipelined hardware with moderate size and achieve the performance gain of more than 70 times compared to the software execution. Moreover, the reconstructed C software program following our proposed method shows the small performance degradation of 8% compared with the pure C software through a comparative evaluation preformed on the Cortex A9 embedded processor in ZYNQ FPGA. This fact indicates that a unified image processing library using HLS software which can be executed on CPU or hardware module for HW/SW co-design can be established by using our proposed describing method.