Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Bodhi Priyantha, and Feng Zhao
We present m-Platform, a new architecture that enables real time processing on general purpose, heterogeneous stackbased sensor network platforms. m-Platform uses low power, high speed Complex Programmable Logic Devices(CPLDs) to abstract the communication channel across the stacks. In that way, high speed, reconfigurable inter-stack communication can be achieved at the expense of a small increase in the power consumption. An asynchronous interface enables the CPLD at each stack to communicate at the maximum possible speed to the local processor without requiring any information about the processor’s capabilities and performance. This together with the memory management capabilities implemented in the CPLD design remove the burden of communication handling from all the processors in the stack allowing them to focus on their real time tasks such as data collection and data processing. Our experimental results using the fist generation of the m-Platform show more than 30% improvement in the inter-stack communication time compared to the traditional communication mechanisms already used. Finally, we demonstrate that the m-Platform architecture enables the execution of real time tasks, such as the sound source localization task, on heterogeneous stack-based architectures that would be otherwise infeasible.