This Report was presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Engineering
The Implementation of a Sonar Beamformer on the Cell Broadband Engine
Thomas Higdon, M.S.E.
The University of Texas at Austin, May 2008
Supervisor: Brian L. Evans
Reader: Derek Chiou
Modern, high-resolution sonar systems have prohibitive data processing requirements. Sonar beamforming, in particular, has computing requirements that challenge even the latest offerings from industry. Therefore, advanced hardware and optimized software are necessary to satisfy the requirements of this application. A sonar beamformer implementation for a heterogeneous nine-core architecture, the Cell Broadband Engine, is described. The implementation leverages existing algorithms and techniques in a concurrent fashion to effectively utilize the power of the platform. The implementation exhibits performance of 38 GFlops, 25% of peak performance. The existing prototype, developed on a Sony PlayStation 3, readily outperforms an efficient implementation on an Intel Xeon platform, with a significant savings in cost, power, and space.
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