Skip to Main Content
Because of the constraints of space computing, the set of available processing technologies is limited. Conventionally, designers have had to choose from programmable rad-hard processors and fixed ASIC solutions. FPGAs provide significantly better power-performance efficiency than general purpose processors, but are more costly to program and are less flexible. For terrestrial applications, manycore processors have been adopted for a class of applications where both performance and flexible programmability are important metrics. Maestro, the first rad-hard manycore processor, has the potential to enable new capabilities for space computation. However, for many applications, certain timing-critical tasks still require the performance efficiency of an FPGA co-processor. Moreover, integrating such heterogeneous systems is challenging because the individual processing substrates have differing internal programming models. As a result, data sharing and dynamic workload scheduling across heterogeneous architectures are often suboptimal and hindered by poor scalability. The Rad-hard Unified Scalable Heterogeneous (RUSH) architecture is a heterogeneous processing platform with both a manycore chip and an FPGA. RUSH provides a unified programming model across both chips to allow for rapid development of scalable and efficient implementations. This paper overviews RUSH's technical approach and presents an example application: a WiMAX radio transceiver.