faster "routing calculation" for navigation applications with FPGA and parallel calculating

Robert Michel openmoko at
Wed Dec 6 19:37:43 CET 2006

Salve michael!

On Wed, 06 Dec 2006, michael at wrote:

> On 12/5/06, Markus Stehr <bastetfurry at> wrote:
> > What do you think about giving the Neo1973 a FPGA?
> I was thinking more about this last night. My first reaction was "great", 
> but
> as someone else posted, what do you get for the increased cost, besides 
> speed?

There is a gaming device with a second ARM9 to speed up games and
video decoding.
> Answer: the high speed allows you to emulate hardware. Some excellent
> suggestions here (software radio, etc.) all take advantage of this ability 
> to
> emulate hardware. 

FPGAs are good do do things parallel - so an algorthmus for decoding
in FPGA could be more efficent then on a normal CPU.  I read today that
navigator devices needs 46-90 seconds to calculate a routing.

Fist I thought to do this routing calculation on a server and give
this task via GPRS to the server - but wait couln't a FPGA solve
the "sales man problem" much faster?

Small inspiration: "How to Break DES in nine days for 8980 Euro"  

> IrDA?).  The SOC has only two serial ports, and both are in use. Would we 
> give
> up one of those for IrDA? No. Solution: implent a third serial port in the

The FPGA would be a perfect multiplexer :)
2-4 SD cards (memory unlimited)

>   Another example: Portable Point-Of-Sales terminals or bar code scanners 
>   used
>   in retail stores. Again, implement the appropriate hardware interface in 
>   the
>   FPGA, add appropriate docking station or cable, and the product is ready.

yeah - people who develope embedded systems would love the Neo1973 with
a FPGA that would encrease the power... and give the chance to connect
what ever they want :)

The limit will be the size and the pins of the FPG :)

>   USB 2.0?
>   That second SIM card?
third, forth, fifth...
>   Other FLASH card interfaces?
>   I2C, SPI, One-Wire?
yes, yes  *G*

> I welcome your feedback.

Very fine, but for the mass marked I think the "routing calculation"
point for navigation devices will be the most important point (yet)
for the mass market.
In Germany have been 2004 68000 navigation system be sold.
2006 will it be 1500000 devices and the fastes on needs 46 to calculate
a route. A FPGA with good solution to calulate it parallel will beat
all devices, even those with 400 Mhz SoC. 

Even when we have to hack this agorithm, a programmable FPGA on the
Neo1973 would be realy great!


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