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Exploiting Partially Reconfigurable FPGAs for Situation-Based Reconfiguration in Wireless Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are typically composed of very small, battery-operated devices (sensor nodes) containing simple microprocessors with few computational resources. However, the rapidly increasing popularity of WSNs has placed increased computational demands upon these systems, due to increasingly complex operating environments and enhanced data-sensing technology. Whereas introducing more powerful microprocessors into sensor nodes addresses these demands, sensor nodes do not contain sufficient energy reserves to support these microprocessors. In this paper, the authors present a partially reconfigurable FPGA-based architecture and methodology to provide increased WSN flexibility and computational resources, resulting in superior power consumption and performance compared to a microprocessor capable of satisfying similar demands.

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