Embedded and Reconfigurable Systems
COSMIAC’s Research Scientist, Dr. Jim Aarestad, directs the Center’s Embedded and Reconfigurable systems Laboratory. The Laboratory research activities focus on FPGA-based systems for aerospace and fault tolerant applications. The Laboratory expertise expands to several hardware description languages (Verilog, VHDL, SystemVerilog), as well as multiple device manufacturers (Xilinx, Microsemi, etc). The Laboratory performs their research with four high-performance workstations and software licenses for complete design suites including Xilinx licenses for their dynamic partial reconfiguration (PR) and triple modular redundancy (TMR) tools. PR is the ability to dynamically modify blocks of logic by downloading partial bit files while the remaining logic continues to operate without interruption. Xilinx Partial Reconfiguration technology allows designers to change functionality on the fly, eliminating the need to fully reconfigure and re-establish links, dramatically enhancing the flexibility that FPGAs offer. The Xilinx TMR technology was developed to address the enhanced reliability requirements of FPGAs operating in extreme radiation environments. Designed for space applications, and proven through numerous mission-critical projects, TMR provides full immunity to single-event upset (SEU) and single-event transient (SET) failures for FPGA designs based upon space-grade designs. Having access to these specialized software tools provides the Laboratory with the ability to perform cutting-edge research and product development.