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Sensors 2012, 12(9), 12235-12264; doi:10.3390/s120912235

Sensor Systems Based on FPGAs and Their Applications: A Survey

1,* , 2
1 Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO), Faculty of Engineering Sciences,Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, Brussels 1050, Belgium 2 Erasmushogeschool Brussel, Nijverheidskaai 170, Brussels 1070, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2012 / Revised: 27 August 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 6 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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In this manuscript, we present a survey of designs and implementations of research sensor nodes that rely on FPGAs, either based upon standalone platforms or as a combination of microcontroller and FPGA. Several current challenges in sensor networks are distinguished and linked to the features of modern FPGAs. As it turns out, low-power optimized FPGAs are able to enhance the computation of several types of algorithms in terms of speed and power consumption in comparison to microcontrollers of commercial sensor nodes. We show that architectures based on the combination of microcontrollers and FPGA can play a key role in the future of sensor networks, in fields where processing capabilities such as strong cryptography, self-testing and data compression, among others, are paramount.
Keywords: wireless sensor networks; FPGA; 802.15.4 wireless sensor networks; FPGA; 802.15.4
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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de la Piedra, A.; Braeken, A.; Touhafi, A. Sensor Systems Based on FPGAs and Their Applications: A Survey. Sensors 2012, 12, 12235-12264.

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