COTS Platform for the Development of Re-Configurable Processing in Aerospace Systems
Current and future developments of field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices indicate that all of the processing needs for Aerospace Systems can be met by using these devices.
This paper will outline the latest COTS FPGA based modular platform for the development of aerospace processing systems. This DIME II system is engineered to take advantage of the Xilinx Virtex II series of FPGAs. Features of the platform particularly useful to the Aerospace designer include:
- Re-configurability at high speed allowing multipurpose use of the same hardware for different tasks over different phases of an operation.
- Devices embodied in the modules are now powerful enough to embrace all aspects of processing including fixed-point sensor signal processing, floating point system control and general database operations. Therefore separate processors with different architectures and their associated infrastructure can be dispensed with. This allows the designer to evaluate simpler and more reliable hardware architectures.
- Higher-level tools are being added to enable more sophisticated algorithms to be developed in a much shorter space of time. Manually intensive processes are being replaced by automated procedures, which prevents the inevitable human error.
A multi-purpose architecture will also be proposed to provide performance, flexibility and high reliability necessary for a real time Avionic system that is based on point-to-point communications rather than a bus based, highly contentious, configuration.
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