One of the reasons of the wide-spread use of FPGA technology is the possibility of reconfiguration. By programming the device with a different bitstream, we may have a hardware with a whole new functionality.
This feature also made it possible to implement the subject of my thesis. There is a modem board with an FPGA chip and an ASIC with an ARM type microprocessor inside. The modem board has a front LAN port from which traffic is lead to the FPGA. There it is processed and then transmitted forward. The main goal is reaching the microprocessor (CPU) through the very same port.
The requisite physical connections between the FPGA and the CPU are present, so the task is to design and implement a logic in the FPGA, which guarantees the successful transfer of both traffic and control messages of the CPU through the LAN port.
In the first section of the thesis I summarize the information about computer networking, which was neccessary to know for the completion of the task mentioned above. Then I proceed to review the relevant components of the modem board. In the last section I review the module designed and implemented by myself.
Performing the task completely in the FPGA (no hardware modification is needed) can lead to significant savings of design and production cost, since the already manufactured and sold boards can be improved with the new functionality too.