The simulation of soft tissue deformations has many practical uses in the medical field such as diagnosing medical conditions, training medical professionals and surgical planning. While there are many good computational models that are used in these simulations, carrying out the simulations is time consuming especially for large systems. This is because most simulators are based on software, which are run on general-purpose computers (GPC) that are not optimized to carry out the operations needed for simulation. In order to improve the performance of these simulators, field-programmable-gate-arrays (FPGA) based accelerators for carrying out Matrix-by-Vector multiplications (MVM) have been implemented by Ramachandran in 1998 and Zhuo et. al. in 2005. Zhuo et. al. also looked at the best ways to store a matrix in memory, and how this is affected by certain properties of the matrix.
A better approach is to implement an accelerator for carrying out all operations required for simulation on hardware. In this study we propose a hardware accelerator for simulating soft-tissue deformation using finite-difference approximation of elastodynamics equations based on conjugate-gradient inversion of sparse matrices. We designed and implemented the accelerator, which is optimized for use with sparse matrices, on FPGA. We also conducted performance and resource requirements analysis for the accelerator. Our results show this approach is capable of achieving sufficiently high computational rate for carrying out real-time simulation; even with large grids or meshes. Finally, we developed computational models for carrying out real-time simulation of tissue deformation.