"We are very happy to have been selected by Intel as one of only two academic sites worldwide to host a cluster based on Intel Xeon processors and Intel Arria 10 FPGAs . Our computing centre has a strong research background in accelerating demanding applications with FPGAs. The availability of these systems allows us to further expand our leadership in this area and - as a next step - bring Intel FPGA accelerators from the lab to HPC production systems", stated Prof. Dr. Christian Plessl, director of the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing, who is been active in this research area for almost two decades.
Researchers worldwide can get access to the cluster by applying to Intel's Hardware Accelerator Research Programme. "We are looking forward to collaborate with Intel and other members of the Hardware Accelerator Research Program on using FPGA acceleration for emerging HPC and data center workloads. By provisioning access to the system to a large number of researchers, we are also gathering experience in how to manage systems with FPGA accelerators in a multi-user setting and for handling parallel applications that use multiple servers with FPGAs. This experience is crucial for deploying systems with FPGAs at scale", explained Dr. Tobias Kenter, senior researcher and FPGA expert at the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing.
Currently, the Paderborn Center is working on accelerating applications including theoretical physics, material sciences and machine learning with FPGAs. This work is in collaboration with scientists from the application areas. In addition, novel domain-specific programming approaches for FPGAs are being developed to simplify the use of FPGAs for developers without a hardware design background.