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Primeur weekly 2017-07-24

Focus

20th Birthday celebrating OpenMP still welcoming new members ...

Fujitsu's processor roadmap is hitting new targets for Deep Learning ...

Focus on Europe

New FPGA programming method delivers five times more computing power ...

Gazprom Neft to utilise capacity at the St Petersburg Polytechnic University supercomputer ...

Tenfold connectivity increase between Ukraine and European research and education network ...

Newly improved Brain Simulation Platform now online ...

Joeri van Leeuwen received a grant and in-kind expertise from the eScience Center for his astronomy project AA-ALERT ...

Middleware

Bright Computing and Brazil-based AMT sign partnership agreement ...

Hardware

7th International Women in HPC workshop ...

IBM scientists observe elusive gravitational effect in solid-state physics ...

New Supermicro Rack Scale Design (RSD) supports high-density, high-performance pooled NVMe storage ...

Inspur announced the new M5 series servers to get businesses ready for the new era of intelligent computing ...

Women, leadership and Flash - Panel and networking event ...

Applications

3D models help scientists gauge flood impact ...

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information ...

Flashes of light on the dark matter ...

Titan simulations show importance of close 2-way coupling between human and Earth systems ...

A firefly's flash inspires new nanolaser light ...

Simulation reveals universal signature of chaos in ultracold reactions ...

Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environment ...

ANSYS, Saudi Aramco and KAUST shatter supercomputing record ...

Scientists use "Piz Daint" simulations to track heavy summer precipitation from the Mediterranean ...

Fernanda Foertter elected SIG HPC Education Vice Chair ...

The Cloud

IBM expands global Cloud data centre presence with four new facilities ...

The Cloud comes to you: AT&T to power self-driving cars, AR/VR and other future 5G applications through edge computing ...

Teradata acquires San Diego-based start-up StackIQ to strengthen Teradata Everywhere and IntelliCloud capabilities ...

IBM mainframe ushers in new era of data protection ...

Solarflare lets server racks match connectivity of a human neuron ...

New high speed interface connects IBM Z to IBM storage systems ...

Oracle significantly expands Cloud at Customer with PaaS and SaaS services to help customers in their journey to the Cloud ...

New FPGA programming method delivers five times more computing power

21 Jul 2017 Linköping - Researchers at Linköping University have developed a method to increase by a factor of five the computing power of a standard algorithm when performed in one type of standard chip, FPGA. The new method is both simple and smart, but the road to publication has been long.

We are dealing with a programmable integrated circuit known as an "FPGA", which is an abbreviation for "field-programmable gate array". This consists of a matrix of logical gates that can be programmed in situ, and can be reprogrammed an unlimited number of times. The first FPGAs came onto the market in 1985, and sales since then have increased dramatically. The market is now dominated by a couple of major players, and is expected to amount to USD 9.8 billion in 2020. The researchers have increased in these chips the speed of an algorithm known as the "fast Fourier transform", which is used in spectral analysis, radar technology and telecommunication.

"Until now, people have believed that once an FPGA is full it cannot accommodate any more. If you want new functionality in this case, you have to completely rebuild the hardware, which is expensive", stated Oscar Gustafsson, senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Engineering at Linköping University.

But Carl Ingemarsson, a PhD student at the department, had other ideas. As an undergraduate several years ago, he was challenged to increase the speed of calculation in an FPGA. If the lab group could manage to reach a frequency greater than 450 MHz, they wouldn't have to carry out the final lab in the course.

"This was what was needed to convince me to examine in depth the way the logic is represented inside the chip", he stated.

He achieved the frequency, skipped the final lab, and at the same time laid the foundation for his doctoral project. The result is that FPGAs today can be made to work five times as fast, or to deal with five times the number of calculations. While it's true that Carl Ingemarsson has only confirmed this in two families of FPGA, there is no reason to believe that it is not also the case for all other families.

"This advance will save huge sums for demanding calculations in industry, and will make it possible to implement new functionality without needing to replace the hardware", stated Oscar Gustafsson.

Carl Ingemarsson's method is based on ensuring that the signal takes a smarter route through the various building blocks inside the chip.

"Normally, you choose an algorithm that can carry out the desired calculations, and then build up the structure, the architecture, using the required blocks. This is then transferred to the FPGA. But we have also looked at how the logic is built up, the routes the signals take, and what happens to them inside the chip. We have then adapted the architecture and the mapping onto the chip using the results of this analysis."

A clever change in the signal routes gives the chip a capacity that is five times greater for each hardware unit.

"It should be possible to automate this optimisation of the chip", stated Carl Ingemarsson.

The method was, however too simple, or too ingenious, for the scientific reviewers.

"At one level, it might seem that we haven't changed anything, we're still using the same standard components, but we have increased the computing power by a factor of five. This has made it has difficult to get our article published in a scientific journal", Oscar Gustafsson explained.

But the solution was so clever that someone managed to plagiarise the work before the IEEE decided to publish it. It suddenly appeared at an IEEE conference, using copies of the diagrams, with parts of the text swapped out and completely different authors. All the support documentation in the form of original files and original diagrams was, however, available at LiU: the plagiarism was discovered, and the researcher suspended. The damage had been done, however, and publication of the original article was delayed by at least a year.

The article titled " Efficient FPGA Mapping of Pipeline SDF FFT Cores " is authored by Carl Ingemarsson, Petter Källström, Fahad Qureshi and Oscar Gustafsson. It is published inIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems, 2017 - DOI 10.1109/TVLSI.2017.2710479.
Source: Linköping University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-07-24

Focus

20th Birthday celebrating OpenMP still welcoming new members ...

Fujitsu's processor roadmap is hitting new targets for Deep Learning ...

Focus on Europe

New FPGA programming method delivers five times more computing power ...

Gazprom Neft to utilise capacity at the St Petersburg Polytechnic University supercomputer ...

Tenfold connectivity increase between Ukraine and European research and education network ...

Newly improved Brain Simulation Platform now online ...

Joeri van Leeuwen received a grant and in-kind expertise from the eScience Center for his astronomy project AA-ALERT ...

Middleware

Bright Computing and Brazil-based AMT sign partnership agreement ...

Hardware

7th International Women in HPC workshop ...

IBM scientists observe elusive gravitational effect in solid-state physics ...

New Supermicro Rack Scale Design (RSD) supports high-density, high-performance pooled NVMe storage ...

Inspur announced the new M5 series servers to get businesses ready for the new era of intelligent computing ...

Women, leadership and Flash - Panel and networking event ...

Applications

3D models help scientists gauge flood impact ...

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information ...

Flashes of light on the dark matter ...

Titan simulations show importance of close 2-way coupling between human and Earth systems ...

A firefly's flash inspires new nanolaser light ...

Simulation reveals universal signature of chaos in ultracold reactions ...

Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environment ...

ANSYS, Saudi Aramco and KAUST shatter supercomputing record ...

Scientists use "Piz Daint" simulations to track heavy summer precipitation from the Mediterranean ...

Fernanda Foertter elected SIG HPC Education Vice Chair ...

The Cloud

IBM expands global Cloud data centre presence with four new facilities ...

The Cloud comes to you: AT&T to power self-driving cars, AR/VR and other future 5G applications through edge computing ...

Teradata acquires San Diego-based start-up StackIQ to strengthen Teradata Everywhere and IntelliCloud capabilities ...

IBM mainframe ushers in new era of data protection ...

Solarflare lets server racks match connectivity of a human neuron ...

New high speed interface connects IBM Z to IBM storage systems ...

Oracle significantly expands Cloud at Customer with PaaS and SaaS services to help customers in their journey to the Cloud ...