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9th RTL Workshop: Cell/B.E. Based Robot Controller

Nov 20, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

The processor Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) is used inside the Playstation 3. The Cell/B.E. is a multi-core processor with heterogenous cores. Each core has its own memory. But all cores can communicate with each other using a high speed bus.

State of the art controllers for automation technology use Digital Signal Processors (DSPs), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) or PC-like hardware. A combination of PC-like hardware using DSPs or FPGAs as accelerators is a good design for building up controllers for automation. A Cell/B.E. can be used for a similar design of robot controllers. The Cell/B.E. has advantages compared to the combined design of PC-like hardware and DSPs or FPGAs. It is discussed how a Cell/B.E. can be used for real time applications.

The Cell/B.E. Based Robot Controller Project has the goal to implement a functional prototype of a robot controller using a Cell/B.E. based computer. A controller that is able to control up to 15 robot arms simultaneously is already implemented. Performance measurements show that the Cell/B.E. works fine for automation purposes.

The Cell/B.E. offers features that couldn't be realized with state of the art controllers for automation technology.

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