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News Article | March 24, 2016
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

In aerospace, automation and automotive technologies, smart electronic computer systems have to meet a number of security and real-time requirements. In case of critical incidents, for instance, the software’s response time has to be very short. Programming of the corresponding applications is time- and cost-consuming. Partners of industry and research are now developing a tool chain for efficient, standardized, and real-time-capable programming under the EU consortium ARGO that is coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Development is based on the open source software Scilab. More and more safety-critical embedded electronic solutions are based on rapid, energy-efficient multicore processors. “Two of the most important requirements of future applications are an increased performance in real time and further reduction of costs without adversely affecting functional safety,” Professor Jürgen Becker of the Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) of KIT says, who coordinates ARGO. “For this, multicore processors have to make available the required performance spectrum at minimum energy consumption in an automated and efficiently programmed manner.” Multicore systems are characterized by the accommodation of several processor cores on one chip. The cores work in parallel and, hence, reach a higher speed and performance. Programming of such heterogeneous multicore processors is very complex. Moreover, the programs have to be tailored precisely to the target hardware and to fulfill the additional real-time requirements. The ARGO EU research project, named after the very quick vessel in Greek mythology, is aimed at significantly facilitating programming by automatic parallelization of model-based applications and code generation. So far, a programmer had to adapt his code, i.e. the instructions for the computer, to the hardware architecture, which is associated with a high expenditure and prevents the code from being transferred to other architectures. “Under ARGO, a new standardizable tool chain for programmers is being developed. Even without precise knowledge of the complex parallel processor hardware, the programmers can control the process of automatic parallelization in accordance with the requirements. This results in a significant improvement of performance and a reduction of costs,” Becker says. In the future, the ARGO tool chain can be used to manage the complexity of parallelization and adaptation to the target hardware in a largely automated manner with a small expenditure. Under the project, real-time-critical applications in the areas of real-time flight dynamics simulation and real-time image processing are studied and evaluated by way of example. Eight project partners of science and industry cooperate under the project: Apart from KIT, the University of Rennes (France), the Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece, the German Aerospace Center, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS (Germany) as well as Recore Systems B.V. (the Netherlands), Scilab Enterprises (France), and AbsInt Angewandte Informatik GmbH (Germany) are involved in ARGO. “ARGO — WCET-aware Parallelization of Model-based Applications for Heterogeneous Parallel Systems” will be funded by the EU with EUR 3.9 million in the next three years. The project is coordinated by Professor Jürgen Becker, Head of the Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) of KIT.

"The cotton towels are running out in washroom 17 on the third floor, in washroom 21 on the fourth floor the soap is almost empty, and in 26 there is almost no toilet paper left."Armed with this kind of information in advance, cleaning staff will be able to plan their rounds far more effectively in the future. No small thing, given that washrooms are among the highest-maintenance rooms in buildings. As well as having to be cleaned, their soap, hand-towels and toilet paper have to be replenished regularly. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has now designed a highly efficient solution to this problem. Together with the full-service provider CWS-boco International GmbH, Fraunhofer IIS has created the "CWS Washroom Information Service" system, which significantly reduces washroom maintenance requirements. In charge of the project is Prof. Thomas Wieland, head of the Fraunhofer Application Center for Wireless Sensor Systems in Coburg. In addition to the sensor technology, the Fraunhofer scientists also contribute a wireless system for transmitting the data. CWS-boco is responsible for the design of the various container and dispenser systems. The basis of the "CWS Washroom Information Service" (WIS) are the sensors. They are battery powered and monitor the fill levels of soap dispensers, cotton towel rolls and toilet paper. The measurement method employed depends on the task. For instance, in the case of the soap dispenser, an optical sensor keeps an eye on the fill level, and the sensor module gathers the data from the meter in the soap dispenser that records every portion dispensed. Optical systems are also used for toilet paper, while a portion meter monitors the usage of the cotton towel dispenser. The data collected by these means is then sent through a complex wireless transmission system. First, the dispenser information is transmitted to the nearest "Washroom Control Unit" (WCU) via energy-saving Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy). Each WCU is a collection point and communication node. They are distributed around the entire building and networked with each other. This is where the s-net wireless technology developed by Fraunhofer IIS comes into play, by enabling the wireless network to configure itself. Each WCU in the network decides autonomously what device it sends the data to. "If a given module is out of order or cannot be reached for other reasons, the WCU sends its data to another module," Fraunhofer expert Wieland explains. This means the wireless network compensates automatically for a defective device or any disturbances in the transmission path. Once all the data has been collected, the final WCU in the transmission chain sends the entire data package – again via s-net – to a gateway, which is generally attached to the outside of the building. From there, the information is then forwarded via the cellular network to CWS-boco's server. A visual user interface displays the information for each individual washroom operator. The shift supervisor can then print out the washroom information as a shift plan or send it to the cleaning staff's tablets. Another option would be to have a display at the entrance to the washrooms that shows what the washroom requires. With the development phase of the "CWS Washroom Information Service" now more or less completed, a progressive field trial with a pilot customer is beginning in the first quarter of 2017. CWS-boco will market the system, one of the biggest benefits of which is its flexibility. "We can integrate new devices with their own sensor systems. Pretty much any product can be fitted with sensors and integrated into the system, from soap dispensers to toilet paper holders and waste bins," says Jens Einsiedler, Head of Business Digitalisation at CWS-boco International GmbH. And the Fraunhofer researchers aren't only thinking about washroom services. Sensor-based s-net technology makes many applications possible. "The system is ideal for any situation where sensor data has to be gathered and transmitted," Wieland explains. Thanks to its ability to organize itself, the energy-saving s-net is extremely reliable. But not only that, its transmission frequency of 868 MHz has excellent propagation characteristics, so it can penetrate walls with ease. That is particularly useful in complex buildings. Wireless sensor networks featuring this or other transmission technologies are a particularly effective way for the agricultural sector to monitor crop land. In cities, sensor networks can keep track of the water quality in rivers. Sensors can keep tabs on the stability of bridges and other constructions, and even in the field of health care this technology opens up new opportunities. For instance, the sensors could be integrated into textiles to monitor a patient's movements during physiotherapy. Further applications are also an option in the field of Industrie 4.0. Wireless sensors are ideal for supervising production plants and monitoring the status of machines or workpieces. On this basis, the system delivers all the data required to manage the process in question. Meanwhile, Wieland and his team are also currently working on a more down-to-earth but no less useful project: monitoring the fill levels of the waste bins in the pedestrian zone in the city of Reutlingen. Explore further: The world's tiniest temperature sensor is powered by radio waves

Backstrom T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH | Year: 2013

Speech coding with the ACELP paradigm is based on a least squares algorithm in a perceptual domain, where the perceptual domain is specified by a filter. This article shows that the computational complexity of this conventional definition of the least squares problem can be reduced by taking into account the impact of the zero impulse response into the next frame. The proposed modification introduces a Toeplitz structure to a correlation matrix appearing in the objective function, which simplifies the structure and reduces computations. It is shown that the proposed method reduces computational complexity up to 17% without reducing perceptual quality. Copyright © 2013 ISCA.

Caulier Y.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Optics Express | Year: 2010

This paper addresses the generalization of a surface inspection methodology developed within an industrial context for the characterization of specular cylindrical surfaces. The principle relies on the interpretation of a stripe pattern, obtained after projecting a structured light onto the surface to be inspected. The main objective of this paper is to apply this technique to a broader range of surface geometries and types, i.e. to free-form rough and free-form specular shapes. One major purpose of this paper is to propose a general free-form stripe image interpretation approach on the basis of a four step procedure: (i) comparison of different feature-based image content description techniques, (ii) determination of optimal feature sub-groups, (iii) fusion of the most appropriate ones, and (iv) selection of the optimal features. The first part of this paper is dedicated to the general problem statement with the definition of different image data sets that correspond to various types of free-form rough and specular shapes recorded with a structured illumination. The second part deals with the definition and optimization of the most appropriate pattern recognition process. It is shown that this approach leads to an increase in the classification rates of more than 2 % between the initial fused set and the selected one. Then, it is demonstrated that with approximately a fourth of the initial features, similar high classification rates of free-form surfaces can be obtained. © 2010 Optical Society of America.

Thoma H.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
2012 4th International Workshop on Quality of Multimedia Experience, QoMEX 2012 | Year: 2012

This paper presents a system for the subjective evaluation of audio, video and audiovisual quality. The system combines the well known MUSHRA and SAMVIQ methods for evaluation of audio and video quality. The implementation of the system uses inexpensive commercial of the shelf hardware. © 2012 IEEE.

Backstrom T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2013

By deriving a factorization of Toeplitz matrices into the product of Vandermonde matrices, we demonstrate that the Euclidean norm of a filtered signal is equivalent with the Euclidean norm of the appropriately frequency-warped and scaled signal. In effect, we obtain an equivalence between the energy of frequency-warped and filtered signals. While the result does not provide tools for warping per se, it does show that the energy of the warped signal can be evaluated efficiently, without explicit and complex computation of the warped transform. The main result is closely related to the Vandermonde factorization of Hankel matrices. © 2013 IEEE.

Franke M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
International Journal of Control | Year: 2014

In this article, the static output feedback problem for linear time-invariant systems is considered. For arbitrary assignability of the roots of the characteristic polynomial by static output feedback, a new necessary and sufficient condition is derived. Although, the proof is based on simple analysis, the known sufficient conditions (derived by techniques of algebraic geometry) are directly covered. Furthermore, an algorithm for the calculation of feedback matrices assigning a desired set of eigenvalues is proposed. This algorithm does not require the desired eigenvalues to be distinct and it explicitly exploits the available degrees of freedom for reducing the feedback gain. The presented approach is illustrated on computational examples.© 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Einwich K.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE Symposium on Design and Diagnostics of Electronic Circuits and Systems, DDECS 2011 | Year: 2011

The SystemC AMS extensions standard was published nearly one year ago. The industrial adoption has been started. The tutorial will give a comprehensive overview about the motivation, the language and her usage for different application domains like telecommunication and automotive. © 2011 IEEE.

Ulbricht G.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium, RWS | Year: 2013

This paper presents a new HF frontend architecture with two or more parallel receiver branches. Each branch applies a different gain to the input signal before feeding it to the analog-to-digital converters. One branch is designed for best sensitivity; the others are almost identical but driving the analog-to-digital converter with reduced level. For further processing in the digital domain, the receiver selects the branch with the best sensitivity but not saturating its analog-to-digital converter for each sample. Consequently, the receiver is able to perform an automatic gain control on a sample by sample basis. The paper will discuss the dynamic range improvement with different interfering signals. © 2013 IEEE.

Schinkel-Bielefeld N.,Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics | Year: 2013

Basic perceptual quality of coded audio material is commonly evaluated using ITU-R BS-1534 MUSHRA (Multi Stimulus with Hidden Reference and Anchors) listening tests. MUSHRA guidelines call for experienced listeners. However, the majority of consumers using the final product are no expert-listeners. Also the degree of expertise in a listening test may vary amongst listeners in the same laboratory. It would be useful to know how the audio quality evaluation differs between trained and untrained listeners and how training and actual tests should be designed in order to be as reliable as possible. To investigate the rating differences between experts and non-experts, we performed MUSHRA listening tests with 13 experienced and 11 inexperienced listeners using 5 speech and audio codecs delivering a wide range of basic audio quality. Except for the hidden reference, absolute ratings of non-experts were consistently higher than those of experts. However, rank order only rarely changed between experts and non-experts. For lower quality values, confidence intervals were significantly larger for non-experts than for experts. Experienced listeners set more than twice as many loops as non-experts, compared more often between codecs and listened to high quality codecs for a longer duration than non-experts. © 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

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