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Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-09-2017
Accepted Solution

What HW/SW for real-time image processing

Hi,

 

We are planning to develop a vision system using various mono and stereo cameras for object and people identification and tracking and face recognition. We will be working with OpenCV, using cnn neural networks, calculating stereo disparity and tracking moving objects, etc. Can it be implemented on an FPGA system in real-time (or near real-time)? Which hardware and software should I choose? How much, roughly, would I have to pay for a single system able to do video processing as mentioned above? Do I buy some programming software/hardware independently from the final boards that do the processing (like 1 programming station plus a number of end FPGA's) or perhaps there is no extra hardware necessary and the programming software is included with each FPGA?

 

Obviously, I have no idea about FPGA and Xilinx products. I would be grateful for your advice.


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Scholar
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

Re: What HW/SW for real-time image processing

First question: is this something that has to be small or low-power? Because if not, a big GPU will probably make your life a lot easier for less money.

 

If it does need to be small/light/low-power then an FPGA is a better option. Unfortunately doing the tasks you want on a big image in realtime is likely to need a substantial FPGA; my pick at the moment would probably be a Zynq UltraScale+. Xilinx's ZCU102 board is perfect (and includes a software license) at $2500. I'm also aware that Enclustra now has their ZU15EG module (more FPGA resources than the ZCU102) available for a similar price, but it doesn't include a software license and it won't be as well supported. For an FPGA beginner, the ZCU102 is more suitable.

 

Xilinx software licensing is pretty straightforward. If you buy a license for Vivado, that can program any number of FPGAs of any type (within Vivado's supported range, of course - which is all the modern chips). The standard Design Edition license includes everything you would reasonably need; I think the only exclusion is System Generator (used for some DSP applications).  Licenses last for one year, and after that you can keep using the software for an unlimited time (but you don't get any further updates) or you can buy another one-year license. There's no "subscription" option. Xilinx's advice is to select a version for your project and stick with that - don't upgrade to every new version that comes out.

 

The license included with boards (like the ZCU102) is locked to that FPGA type. If you buy a ZCU102, you can program any ZCU102 board, or any other board that uses a Zynq UltraScale+ ZU9EG. If you do all your development on the ZCU102, and then make a custom board with the same chip, you can keep using the license for that.

 

Programming hardware is just a JTAG adaptor. The ZCU102 has one built-in; you will not need it for development. For your own boards, where you probably don't want to waste the size/cost of a built-in adaptor, you'll need a separate JTAG programmer. Digilent's HS3 is excellent, affordable, and fully supported by Vivado.

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Highlighted
Scholar
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎04-26-2015

Re: What HW/SW for real-time image processing

First question: is this something that has to be small or low-power? Because if not, a big GPU will probably make your life a lot easier for less money.

 

If it does need to be small/light/low-power then an FPGA is a better option. Unfortunately doing the tasks you want on a big image in realtime is likely to need a substantial FPGA; my pick at the moment would probably be a Zynq UltraScale+. Xilinx's ZCU102 board is perfect (and includes a software license) at $2500. I'm also aware that Enclustra now has their ZU15EG module (more FPGA resources than the ZCU102) available for a similar price, but it doesn't include a software license and it won't be as well supported. For an FPGA beginner, the ZCU102 is more suitable.

 

Xilinx software licensing is pretty straightforward. If you buy a license for Vivado, that can program any number of FPGAs of any type (within Vivado's supported range, of course - which is all the modern chips). The standard Design Edition license includes everything you would reasonably need; I think the only exclusion is System Generator (used for some DSP applications).  Licenses last for one year, and after that you can keep using the software for an unlimited time (but you don't get any further updates) or you can buy another one-year license. There's no "subscription" option. Xilinx's advice is to select a version for your project and stick with that - don't upgrade to every new version that comes out.

 

The license included with boards (like the ZCU102) is locked to that FPGA type. If you buy a ZCU102, you can program any ZCU102 board, or any other board that uses a Zynq UltraScale+ ZU9EG. If you do all your development on the ZCU102, and then make a custom board with the same chip, you can keep using the license for that.

 

Programming hardware is just a JTAG adaptor. The ZCU102 has one built-in; you will not need it for development. For your own boards, where you probably don't want to waste the size/cost of a built-in adaptor, you'll need a separate JTAG programmer. Digilent's HS3 is excellent, affordable, and fully supported by Vivado.

Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-09-2017

Re: What HW/SW for real-time image processing

Thank you so much. Now I know what to look for and how to estimate my budget.

Moderator
Posts: 2,336
Registered: ‎11-09-2015

Re: What HW/SW for real-time image processing

[ Edited ]

Hi @witek_2007,

 

If the answer provided is enough for you, please mark @u4223374's response as solution.

 

Regards,

 

Florent

Florent
Product Application Engineer - Xilinx Technical Support EMEA
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