new design methodology that produces hardware solutions for performing
real-time image processing is presented here. This design methodology
provides significant advantages over traditional hardware design
approaches by translating real-time image processing tasks into
the gate-level resources of programmable logic-based hardware
architectures. The use of programmable logic allows high-performance
solutions to be realized with very efficient utilization of available
resources. These implementations provide comparable performance
at a lower cost than other available programmable logic-based
This new design methodology is based on two components: a programmable
logic-based destination hardware architecture and a suite of development
system software. The destination hardware is a Modular and Reprogrammable
Real-time Processing Hardware, called the MORRPH architecture.
This architecture is a Custom Computing Machine (CCM) that contains
multiple Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips. FPGA chips
provide gate-level programmability for the hardware architecture.
Sophisticated software development tools, called the TRAVERSE
development system software, are created to overcome the significant
amount of time and expertise required to manually utilize this
gate-level programmability. The new hardware architecture and
development system software combine to establish a unique design
are several distinct contributions provided by this dissertation.
The new flexible MORRPH hardware architecture provides a more
efficient solution for creating real-time image processing computing
machines than current commercial hardware architectures. The TRAVERSE
development system software is the first integrated development
system specifically for creating real-time image processing designs
with multiple FPGA-based CCMs. New standards and design conventions
are defined specifically for creating solutions to low-level image
processing tasks, using the MORRPH architecture for verification.
The circuit partitioning and global routing programs of the TRAVERSE
development system software enable automated translation of image
processing designs into the resources of multiple FPGA chips in
the hardware architecture. In a broad sense, the individual contributions
of this dissertation combine to create a new design methodology
that will change the way hardware solutions are created for real-time
image processing in the future.