Software to exploit multicore

Tuesday 31st January 2012
Courtesy:http://www.recoresystems.com/

Why must a programmer care for the hardware architecture when writing embedded applications for multi-core? At HiPEAC 2012, Professors Nikolaos Voros and Jürgen Becker explain how the ALMA Consortium comprising French, Greek, Netherlands and German based academic and business organisation aim to turn 'must' into 'may'.

The ALMA Consortium  is proposiing a tool chain that hides the complexity of hardware architecturesfrom the programmer, creating optimised code at the same time.

“The ALMA tool-chain will implement parallelisation and optimisation algorithms for a whole class of multi-cores”, says (right) Professor Nikolaos Voros, scientific coordinator at Technological Educational Institute of Mesolonghi. 


“In ALMA, we will show how various embedded reconfigurable multi-cores from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Recore Systems can be efficiently programmed using the same tool-chain and the same application code”.

 Dimitrios Kritharidis, head of Microelectronics & Embedded Systems Research at Intracom Telecom notes: “Embedded computing increasingly turns to multi-core systems to provide cutting edge products. The hardware is there, but the software tools to fully exploit the new hardware capabilities are still lacking. To stay ahead, we are eager to work with the latest research results on tomorrow’s tool-chains for the embedded multi-cores.”

The ALMA project leader, (left) Prof. Jürgen Becker from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology adds: “Our research focuses on adaptive embedded systems. We’ve seen a lot of progress in the development of dynamically reconfigurable hardware architectures, and we’ve noted that the software tooling to easily create lean and mean code for the hardware lag behind.”

Within the ALMA project, Becker continues “We work on corresponding hardware/software co-design and co-synthesis techniques. We include the hardware description in the software optimisation, with the ultimate goal to use the same source code and the same tool-chain for various hardware platforms while generating efficient code.

"Efficient code means a faster embedded system that uses less energy. It is a field in which we can greatly contribute to low power usage in mobiles, wireless communication, camera’s, in short, anything that contains a chip."

ALMA (Greek for ‘leap’) project  is an acronym for ALgorithm parallelization for Multicore Architectures. The consortium brings industry and academia partners together.

The industry partners Recore Systems  and Intracom Telecom contribute expertise in reconfigurable hardware technology for multi-core systems-on-chip software development tools and real world applications.

Five academic partners contribute their outstanding expertise in reconfigurable computing and compilation tools development: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT Germany), Université de Rennes I (France), University of Peloponnese (Greece), Technological Educational Institute of Mesolonghi (Greece) and the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (Germany). 

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