Runtime Abstraction for Autonomous Adaptive Systems on Reconfigurable Hardware

Alex R. Bucknall, Suhaib A. Fahmy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Autonomous systems increasingly rely on on-board computation to avoid the latency overheads of offloading to more powerful remote computing. This requires the integration of hardware accelerators to handle the complex computations demanded by date-intensive sensors. FPGAs offer hardware acceleration with ample flexibility and interfacing capabilities when paired with general purpose processors, with the ability to reconfigure at runtime using partial reconfiguration. Managing dynamic hardware is complex and has been left to designers to address in an ad-hoc manner without first-class integration in autonomous software frameworks. This paper presents an abstracted runtime for managing adaptation of FPGA accelerators, including partial reconfiguration and parametric changes, that presents as a typical interface used in autonomous software systems. We present a demonstration using the Robot Operating System (ROS), showing negligible latency overhead as a result of the abstraction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign, Automation and Test in Europe Conference
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-01-07
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, grant EP/N509796/1.


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