FPGA Based Real-time Systems Tester
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The solution this project presents is a low-cost and platform independent system for testing real-time systems. Due to the lack of similar solutions, university labs, like the real-time systems lab of subject TTK4147, uses low-cost software-based testing devices with low accuracy and low customizability. This work attempts to solve that problem and provide the students with high quality hands-on experience to increase their understanding of real-time systems, especially that it is design to be compatible with a popular embedded system as a standard System Under Test, which is the Raspberry Pi. In addition, the platform is fully reconfigurable making it possible to use in various kinds of projects thanks to the added user peripherals and extra GPIO pins available. This makes the tool valuable in hobbyist environments as well. This work is based on the master thesis of Kyrre Gonsholt at NTNU where he developed an IP to perform this kind of tests. The thesis report will first give a few details about the previous work and then explain how it was analyzed to correct its malfunctions. Then some key points of the design process will be discussed with special emphasis on protection. After that, the overall structure of the used software will be presented followed by a guide for the usage and development of the real-time tester. Finally, the report will shed light on some of the issues faced during development and suggest a few recommendation for future system development. This project has produced a fully functional real-time testing platform accompanied by a graphical user interface that allows the user to configure and run the tester in addition to performing analysis of the resulting log data. The tester features a resolution of 20ns, a maximum logging frequency of 12.5MHz and it can generate interrupts with a frequency up to 10MHz. These features ensure that this tool will provide labs with a reliable testing solution that is both high-quality and low-cost.