mPlatform: A Reconfigurable Architecture and Efficient Data Sharing Mechanism for Modular Sensor Nodes

International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN '07) |

We present mPlatform, a new reconfigurable modular sensornet platform that enables real-time processing on multiple heterogeneous processors. At the heart of the mPlatform is a scalable highperformance communication bus connecting the different modules of a node, allowing time-critical data to be shared without delay and supporting reconfigurability at the hardware level. Furthermore, the bus allows components of an application to span across different processors/modules without incurring much overhead, thus easing the program development and supporting software reconfigurability. We describe the communication architecture, protocol, and hardware configuration, and the implementation in a low power, high speed complex programmable logic device (CPLD). An asynchronous interface decouples the local processor of each module from the bus, allowing the bus to operate at the maximum desired speed while letting the processors focus on their real time tasks such as data collection and processing. Extensive experiments on the mPlatform prototype have validated the scalability of the communication architecture, and the high speed, reconfigurable intermodule communication that is achieved at the expense of a small increase in the power consumption. Finally, we demonstrate a realtime sound source localization application on the mPlatform, with four channels of acoustic data acquisition, FFT, and sound classification, that otherwise would be infeasible using traditional buses
such as I2C.