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High Performance Embedded System for Real-Time Pattern Matching

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In this paper we present an innovative and high performance embedded system for real-time pattern matching. This system is based on the evolution of hardware and algorithms developed for the field of High Energy Physics and more specifically for the execution of extremely fast pattern matching for tracking of particles produced by proton-proton collisions in hadron collider experiments. A miniaturised version of this complex system is being developed for pattern matching in generic image processing applications. The system works as a contour identifier able to extract the salient features of an image. It is based on the principles of cognitive image processing, which means that it executes fast pattern matching and data reduction mimicking the operation of the human brain. The pattern matching can be executed by a custom designed Associative Memory chip. The reference patterns are chosen by a complex training algorithm implemented on an FPGA device. Post processing algorithms (e.g. pixel clustering) are also implemented on the FPGA. The pattern matching can be executed on a 2D or 3D space, on black and white or grayscale images, depending on the application and thus increasing exponentially the processing requirements of the system. We present the firmware implementation of the training and pattern matching algorithm, performance and results on a latest generation Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA device.