Tulipp project for embedded systems in image processing applications

Tuesday, 18 October, 2016

Tulipp project for embedded systems in image processing applications

The Tulipp (Towards Ubiquitous Low-power Image Processing Platforms) project — an initiative targeting the development of high-performance, energy-efficient embedded systems for the growing range of increasingly complex image processing applications — has been announced by the European Union. The project is being funded with nearly €4 million from Horizon 2020.

Tulipp will focus on developing a reference platform for vision-based system designers that defines a set of guidelines for the selection of relevant combinations of computing and communication resources to be instantiated in the platform while minimising energy resources and reducing development costs and time to market. The guidelines will tackle the design issue complexities surrounding the next generation of embedded image processing applications. These complexities relate to the need for high-performance computing power coupled with greater power efficiency within the context of embedded design requirements.

The guidelines for the reference platform define what a piece of hardware or software must look like in order to be Tulipp-compliant. Tulipp will use these guidelines to develop an instance of the Tulipp reference platform comprising a scalable low-power board designed to meet typical embedded systems requirements of size, weight and power (SWaP); a low-power operating system and image processing libraries; and an energy-aware tool chain.

In addition, Tulipp will develop three use-case demonstrators as proof of concept and validation of the reference platform. These use cases will include:

  • a medical imaging surgical X-ray system designed to significantly reduce radiation doses by 75%;
  • a smart automotive embedded vision system for advanced driver assistance (ADAS) that, in addition to the low-level image processing, intelligently interprets what is on the images to deliver safer driving experiences; and
  • an embedded image processing system to create smart drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the intelligent search and rescue of survivors at disaster incidents.

By the end of the project in 2018, Tulipp expects its work to extend the peak performance per watt of image processing applications by 4x and average performance per watt by 10x. Beyond the official completion of the Tulipp project, it is expected that this will be extended to 100x and 200x by 2023.

“Image processing applications stretch across an increasingly broad range of industrial domains and are reaching a higher level of complexity than ever before,” said Philippe Millet of Thales (France), Tulipp’s project coordinator. “The Tulipp reference platform will give rise to significant advances in system integration, processing innovation and idle power management to cope with the challenges this presents in increasingly complex vision-based systems.”

Image: Tulipp reference platform hardware implementation.

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