Xilinx Research Labs Open Day
We were at the Xilinx Research Labs open day today. It was excellent. There were posters and demos from different universities. Ivo Bolsens, the CTO, gave a fantastic overview of the trends in the FPGA industry and the innovations in Xilinx. Kees Vissers talked about the Xilinx Research Labs.
The point that struck we most was the fact that a very small Xilinx research team can have such large impact. The team seem to do such quality work and in such quantities.
We demoed our Iris-FPGA cognitive radio.
Iris is our software radio platform. It was designed for a GPP. In Iris radios are created by linking different components together as desired. The radio is described via an XML file and this is parsed and the Iris engine puts the components together as described. During runtime, parameters of the components or the components themselves can be changed. The emphasis in Iris is on runtime configuration. Through working with Xilinx Research labs we moved to an FPGA platform. The Iris engine runs on the PowerPC and the components can be pure software or FPGA logic blocks. This demo is very much the work of Jorg Lotze from CTVR and Juanjo Nogeura from Xilinx with great help from Baris Ozgul. In the demo we show a cognitive radio that is opportunistically using whatever spectrum it finds. The receiver automatically follows the transmitter. If the receiver loses the transmitted signal it goes into signal detect mode – once it locks on to the transmitter it reconfigures to normal receive mode. In addition the radios are capable of evaluating the environment in which they find themselves and changing the complexity of the coding in use to deliver a certain BER. So less coding effort is needed in environments that are not so full of multipath and interference.
We are currently also working on FPGA solutions for LR-PON access networks. We do not have a demo yet as we are just started. More on this at a later date………