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Origami HLS - The Art of Circuit Folding

Short info: Origami is a project at the University of Kassel, in which a Matlab Simulink to VHDL tool chain is developed to ease the process of creating, testing and evaluating High-Level-Synthesis algorithms. Beyond that a first transformation called folding is implemented. Folding is a systematic way to share and thus save FPGA hardware resources by time-multiplexing. This is possible when the input sample rate is lower than the system clock frequency. This area-time tradeoff is further investigated and tools are created to optimize its solutions.

More information can be found here

DSP hardware

Short info: Extremely high computing power is required in digital signal processing, which only hardware can deliver. We research optimization and FPGA-based implementation of these computational circuits, e.g., adder graphs for digital FIR filters. To this end, we develop optimization algorithms and design and analyze hardware structures, breaking new ground.

Student work: Interesting for e-technicians and computer scientists! You participate in the development of FPGA circuits and/or optimization algorithms (bachelor/master thesis) for hardware structures, as they are also urgently needed in industry. Just contact us if you are interested!

The software and further information about the project can be found on the PAGsuite website.

Control of barrier bucket systems for FAIR

FAIR is a new, international accelerator facility for research with antiprotons and ions, which will be built in the next years by GSI (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung) near Darmstadt (click here for the FAIR website of GSI). Within the FAIR project, barrier bucket systems for a flexible particle beam manipulation are planned, for which a control electronics, a barrier bucket low-lever radio frequency system (BB-LLRF), is needed. 

Our project in collaboration with GSI is focused on the realization of this BB-LLRF system. Our developments shall be suitable for implementation on an FPGA platform. Furthermore, the real-time data supply and the connection to the control system related to the BB-LLRF system shall be worked on. FPGA-based subsystems are already used extensively in the field of RF systems at SIS100 and for the FAIR project, so previous experience can be drawn upon for this. New in the context of this project is the time resolution below 1 ns. This has to be achieved within the FPGA, which requires special investigations and designs. In this context, possibilities for continuous signal phase alignment based on an external reference will probably also have to be investigated. The main objectives of the planned work are 

  • the selection of a suitable signal synthesis method for the barrier pulses, 
  • the implementation of the synthesis procedure on an FPGA system at GSI, 
  • the investigation and realization of a calibration and adjustment procedure for the precision timing of the signal synthesis, 
  • the construction of an interface to the control system and the optical trigger distribution for the ring-to-ring transfer. 

The project thus includes all components and implementations necessary for a prototypical realization and system integration of the BB-LLRF system. Accordingly, a prototype installed there is to be set up already during the project duration in cooperation with GSI, on which the functionality of the individual results can be tested in experimental operation and which will enable a complete demonstration of the project results at the end.

For our students: Within the scope of this project, you can collaborate on FPGA-based circuit designs or perform investigations on given circuits. 

FPGA-based real-time video hardware

Short info: With enough computing power, camera chips can be used much more effectively than has been done in the past. We work with FPGAs directly after the camera chips and thus use the computing power of the FPGA hardware to improve videos, among others for robotics, but also for 'normal' filming and in 3D.

Student work: Interesting for e-technicians and computer scientists! You develop real-time FPGA circuits (bachelor/master theses, project seminar) for image processing, e.g. for High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) imaging or 3D distance measurement or ..., or optimize the associated algorithms. Just get in touch if you are interested!


Short info: Unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles can be used for many tasks. We are developing a hardware platform capable of supporting largely autonomous flight. For this purpose, we work with self-built quadrocopter models. The focus of the research is on the system-on-chip architectures that fly along as on-board computers.

Student work: Interesting for e-technicians and computer scientists! You develop FPGA circuits or software (bachelor/master theses) for flight control and for on-board functions like camera image analysis, mission planning and execution. Of course there will also be flying! Just contact us if you are interested!

E-learning with tablet computers and smartphones

Short info: We are investigating how to support students and teachers in the daily routine of lecturing, practicing and learning and how to provide concrete help for learning. For this purpose, we develop a client-server system with apps as clients. The implementation will be done on iOS or Android.

Student work: You are welcome to help program! You develop iOS (iPad, iPhone: Objective-C) apps and the connection to a server software (also work with Linux/Unix, Java, web server available). Fun with programming and interest in tablet computers is required. If interested, we also support work with Android. Just contact us to clarify details!

More info about the project: here

Reconfigurable System-on-Programmable-Chip (SoPC)

Short info: Highly specialized systems are required for resource-critical applications in order to be able to achieve the required performance with simultaneous energy efficiency: System-on-Chips (SoC). Reconfigurable circuits (the best-known representatives of this are FPGAs) allow a dynamic change of the implemented functionality during operation. This allows a temporal structural adaptation of the hardware to the requirements, which can increase both performance and energy efficiency. Such systems are then called System-on-Programmable-Chip (SoPC).

Student Theses: Theses are available for students in this research area (Bachelor, Master, D1/D2), in the area of design, analysis and implementation of SoPCs or their components. Previous experience in digital circuit design, hardware description languages (VHDL or Verilog) or microprocessor systems is advantageous.

Development and evaluation of a software environment for tiered teaching and learning support.

The e-learning software to be created as part of the project(mainly for iPad and iPhone) has the objective of supporting students and teachers in the daily routine of lecturing, practicing and learning. Beyond that, however, the student-facing software is to be used in such a way that specific support and encouragement (advising) of the individual student is achieved, also in the context of self-finding small learning groups.

The possibilities of modern tablet computers and smartphones are to be used to provide computer-based teaching and learning support. The main aim is to directly accompany lecture-based teaching, associated exercises and supplementary materials by providing interaction within lectures and immediate feedback of data. Together with a downstream analysis, deficits of students can be recognized and problem areas within individual courses can be identified. Based on this, long-term improvements of the teaching material can be made on the one hand, and short-term remedies such as additional tutorials or simply repetition of material can be offered on the other. The necessary data is available directly after each course and in some cases already during the course.

On the student side, highly individualized learning advice and progress analysis is offered on the basis of all available data. Through an interaction of the end devices firmly assigned to the individual students among themselves, contacts for and between learning groups can then also be suggested and accompanied.

The aim of the proposed project is thus to provide a corresponding software environment for lecturers and students and to adapt it optimally to the application area "Lecture". One of the main aspects is that the so far proven way of conducting such events does not have to be radically changed, but that the additional possibilities can be integrated in a complementary way and in no steps according to the needs. Other types of events, such as seminars, can be investigated during the project to determine which software enhancements would be necessary to support them. The project is to be didactically accompanied in cooperation with the SCL and the pursued concept is to be constantly improved on the basis of this consultation and on the basis of interim results. 

For our students: You are welcome to participate in the programming work on iPhone and iPad! We offer final theses (Bachelor, Master DI, DII) for this at any time. You should like programming and be interested in tablet computers. Since a part of the software is also server-based (Linux/Unix), there are also some works for this!!!