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ALMA project: Can programming of reconfigurable multi-cores be easier, please?
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2012.01.23  21:35:30
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small_alma horse1.png France - Why must a programmer care for the hardware architecture when writing embedded applications for multi-core? Today at HiPEAC 2012, Prof. Nikolaos Voros explains how the ALMA Consortium intends to turn the `MUST` into a `MAY`. The ALMA Consortium proposes a tool chain that hides the complexity of hardware architectures from the programmer, and creates optimized code at the same time.


“The ALMA tool-chain will implement parallelization and optimization algorithms for a whole class of multi-cores”, says Nikolaos Voros, scientific coordinator, and professor 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”.


As Dimitrios Kritharidis, Head of Microelectronics & Embedded Systems Research at Intracom Telecom explains: “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 (www.alma-project.eu) leader, Prof. J?rgen 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, J?rgen Becker continues “We work on corresponding hardware/software co-design and co-synthesis techniques. We include the hardware description in the software optimization, 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.”


The HiPEAC workshop
Prof. Nikolaos Voros, of the Technological Educational Institute of Mesolonghi, Greece will speak on Tuesday, January 24 at 17:00. Gerard Rauwerda, CTO of Recore Systems, will be available at the Industry Exhibit to discuss the ALMA project and reconfigurable multi-core systems in general.


More information on the HiPEAC 2012 Workshop on Design Tools and Architectures for Multi-Core Embedded Computing Platforms: http://paginas.fe.up.pt/~specs/events/ditam2012/.



The ALMA project
ALMA (Greek for ‘leap’) is an acronym for ALgorithm parallelization for Multicore Ar-chitectures. Driven by the technology restrictions in chip design, the end of Moore’s law and the quest for increasing computing performance, ALMA is a fundamental step forward in the necessary introduction of novel computing paradigms and methodologies. ALMA strengthens the position of the EU in the world market of multiprocessor-targeted software tool chains.



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