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High Speed 3D Tomography on CPU, GPU, and FPGA


Back-projection (BP) is a costly computational step in tomography image reconstruction such as positron emission tomography (PET). To reduce the computation time, this paper presents a pipelined, prefetch, and parallelized architecture for PET BP (3PA-PET). The key feature of this architecture is its original memory access strategy, masking the high latency of the external memory. Indeed, the pattern of the memory references to the data acquired hinders the processing unit. The memory access bottleneck is overcome by an efficient use of the intrinsic temporal and spatial locality of the BP algorithm. A loop reordering allows an efficient use of general purpose processor's caches, for software implementation, as well as the 3D predictive and adaptive cache (3D-AP cache), when considering hardware implementations. Parallel hardware pipelines are also efficient thanks to a hierarchical 3D-AP cache: each pipeline performs a memory reference in about one clock cycle to reach a computational throughput close to 100%. The 3PA-PET architecture is prototyped on a system on programmable chip (SoPC) to validate the system and to measure its expected performances. Time performances are compared with a desktop PC, a workstation, and a graphic processor unit (GPU).

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Correspondence to Nicolas GAC.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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GAC, N., Mancini, S., Desvignes, M. et al. High Speed 3D Tomography on CPU, GPU, and FPGA. J Embedded Systems 2008, 930250 (2009).

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