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In this paper we present Vortex: a reconfigurable Network-on-Chip platform suitable for implementing domain-specific hardware accelerators in a design efficient manner. Our Vortex platform provides a flexible means to compose domain-specific accelerators for streaming applications such as performance critical machine vision systems. By substituting a traditional shared-bus architecture with low latency packet-switched routers and high utility network adaptors, maximum performance is exploited with minimal regard to communication infrastructure design and validation. To highlight the utility of the Vortex platform we present a case study in which a video analytics pipeline is mapped onto a multi-FPGA system. The system meets real-time throughput requirements on 3 Megapixel 48-bit image sequences with minimal resource overhead attributed to the Vortex communication infrastructure.
Date of Conference: Jan. 30 2012-Feb. 2 2012