Radiation dose calculation is an important step in the treatment of patients requiring radiation therapy. It ensures that the physician prescribed dose agrees with the dose delivered to the patient. Current methods use software implementing either three-dimensional (3-D) convolution/superposition algorithms or Monte Carlo analysis. These software methods create a bottleneck in the radiation therapy process. The required computation time limits both the accuracy of the calculation and the number of patients who can be treated.
In this thesis, two different methods of radiation dose calculation have been implemented in hardware. One is a direct convolution approach and the other is a 3-D convolution/superposition collapse cone algorithm. Both have been implemented on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) to achieve performance above that obtainable using a traditional CPU. These algorithms are implemented as an SoPC (System on a Programmable Chip) utilizing double buffering, pipelining, and elements of array processing.