What is Ouessant?

Ouessant is an island in the west of France, located near Molène. Both islands are part of Ponant Islands archipelago.

Ouessant: where does it come from

Ouessant project was initiated in early 2015 at Télécom Bretagne, a French engineering school. Two students in their last year were working on a school project proposed by two teachers and a PhD student. The aim of this project was double: experiment with Gaisler's LEON processor, and implement a coprocessor integration approach called Molen. Molen is an approach proposed by the Computer Science Lab of Delft University, in The Netherlands. Briefly described, the Molen approach defines a limited set of instructions which can be used to control an Hardware Coprocessor. The resulting "processor", called "Molen Polymorphic Processor", is then integrated with the processor, and can speed up operations transparently from the processor point of view. However, while several articles exist on the Molen approach, no implementation can be found.

When we started to design their implementation of the Molen, we ran into several problems. While Molen was supposedly processor agnostic, it seems difficult to do so with the proposed architecture. Several features had not been implemented and described in the articles. And finally, the close interaction between the CPU and the Molen did not allow for parallelism. Other problems were listed, which led us to deeply modify the architecture, even if we kept the microprocessor approach.

Ouessant approach

Ouessant aims at being a microcontroller dedicated to hardware accelerators management in the system. It provides a simple yet sufficient instruction set, and allows a unified hardware integration, easing the task of using the accelerator from the software.

The Team

Current active members:

Occasional members