Implementing and Comparing Image Convolution Methods on an FPGA at the Register-Transfer Level

Anna C. Hernandez, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Whether it's capturing a car's license plate on the highway or detecting someone's facial features to tag friends, computer vision and image processing have found their way into many facets of our lives. Image and video processing algorithms ultimately tailor towards one of two goals: to analyze data and produce output in as close to real-time as possible, or to take in and operate on large swaths of information offline. Image convolution is a mathematical method with which we can filter an image to highlight or make clearer desired information. The most popular uses of image convolution accentuate edges, corners, and facial features for analysis. The goal of this project was to investigate various image convolution algorithms and compare them in terms of hardware usage, power utilization, and ability to handle substantial amounts of data in a reasonable amount of time. The algorithms were designed, simulated, and synthesized for the Zynq-7000 FPGA, selected both for its flexibility and low power consumption.