Adit Tarmaster, Peter M. Athanas, and A. Lynn Abbott, "Accelerating Image Filters Using a Custom Computing Machine", presented at SPIE Photonics East 1995, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Oct 1995.
This paper describes the use of SPLASH-2 the custom computing platform for real-time median and morphological filtering of images. SPLASH-2 is an FPGA-based attached processor that can be reconfigured to perform a wide variety of tasks. Although not specifically designed for image processing, the architecture iswell suited for the repetitive computations and high data transfer rates that characterize most low-level image processing problems. Median filtering is a particularly good benchmark, since nonlinear rank ordering must be performed for two-dimensional neighborhoods at every pixel location in an image. General-purpose workstations are inefficient at such tasks, whereas SPLASH-2 can be configured to perform this at a rate of 30 images per second. This paper presents the hardware/software codesign process that we have used to implement this operation, which can be pipelined with other operations by using additional SPLASH-2 processor boards. The results presented here illustrate that custom computing architectures are much faster than conventional uniprocessors, and offer an attractive alternative to dedicated special-purpose hardware when high performance is required.
Keywords: custom computing architectures, FPGA-based computing, hardware/software codesign, real-time image processing, median filtering, mathematical morphology
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