Using hardware based coprocessors in GNU radio

Hello,

I am Junaid, currently a Masters student. The topic pretty much inspired
me, although I couldn’t create a clear picture in my mind. The project
is
about using coprocessors for acceleration, so basically the target would
be
a heterogeneous sytem consisting of a RISC microprocessor preferably
belonging to ARM family alongwith coprocessors which can be either FPGAs
or
DSPs. The hardware cores are always faster than the software cores,
there
is no doubt in that. Similarly DSP due its architecture shows better
performance towards signal processing functions. Both these coprocessors
will perform acceleration by taking some workload from uP.

Now which particular functions/tasks will be taken, this isn’t clear to
me
at this stage and I am looking forward to get some details over it.

Junaid

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Hi Junaid,

such a system already exists in the shape of a xilinx zynq board.
There’s been a talk that (although I was not there to witness it) is
supposed to be quite good:

https://fosdem.org/2014/schedule/event/gnu_radio_hardware_acceleration_on_xilinx_zynq/

I’m not sure if videos of that talk are available at this point.

However, there is quite a documentation in the GR wiki:

http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/Zynq

For usage of specialized DSP instructions (if these can be part of the
normal CPU program) please have a look at VOLK, which is a part of GNU
Radio:
http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/Volk

Greetings,
Marcus

PS: Have to slightly disagree with you on the “hardware is faster than
software, always” part, since design constraints usually limit the
performance of FPGAs, and moving data guaranteeing coherence comes at
a performance penalty.

On 08.02.2014 10:00, Muhammad Junaid Muzammil wrote:

towards signal processing functions. Both these coprocessors will
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