• Two ESA papers get accepted at FPL 2022

    We are very happy to announce that two submitted papers of our group have been accepted for presentation at FPL 2022

    The first paper entitled DeLiBA: An Open-Source Hardware/Software Framework for the Development of Linux Block I/O Accelerators – by Babar Khan, Carsten Heinz, and Andreas Koch – is a result of the SODDAS project. DeLiBA aims to address Linux block I/O acceleration by allowing development of software components of the I/O stack in the user space instead of the kernel space, and leverages a proven FPGA SoC framework to quickly compose and deploy the actual FPGA-based I/O accelerators. The framework uses a software-defined distributed storage protocol, namely Ceph, for the proof-of-concept implementation.

    The second paper entitled Direct Device-to-Device Physical Page Migrations in Multi-FPGA Shared Virtual Memory Systems – by Torben Kalkhof and Andreas Koch – extends the TaPaSCo SVM feature by introducing Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) with physical page migrations to multi-FPGA architectures. Three different data transfer mechanisms for the additional direct device-to-device page migrations are examined in this work: a two-step copy approach via PCIe and a bounce buffer in host memory, direct PCIe endpoint-to-endpoint transfers, and data transfers over a 100G Ethernet connection.

    Congratulations and keep up the good work everyone!

    By Torben Kalkhof, 20.07.2022


  • ESA paper gets accepted at DAC 2022

    We are very happy to announce that our submitted paper has been accepted for presentation at DAC 2022.

    This paper entitled SCAIE-V: An Open-Source SCAlable Interface for ISA Extensions for RISC-V Processors –- by Mihaela Damian, Julian Oppermann, Christoph Spang and Andreas Koch -– is a result of the Scale4Edge project. The paper presents a new scalable interface named SCAIE-V, which integrates custom instructions into RISC-V cores. Currently, the project supports 4 cores (Piccolo, PicoRV32, VexRiscv and ORCA) for which the custom instructions can be integrated automatically. The interface can interact with the core’s register file, program counter as well as memory bus. The corresponding logic is added only if it is required by the custom instruction. Moreover, SCAIE-V supports decoupled instructions, which run in parallel to the main pipeline. All these features facilitate a faster integration of ISA extensions while reaching for a low hardware penalty.

    By Brindusa Mihaela Damian, 24.03.2022


  • Two ESA papers get accepted at FPT 2021

    We are very happy to announce that two submitted papers by our group have been accepted for presentation at FPT 2021.

    The first paper entitled Efficient Physical Page Migrations in Shared Virtual Memory Reconfigurable Computing Systems – by Torben Kalkhof and Andreas Koch – proposes an open-source development framework that provides Shared Virtual Memory with physical page migration capabilities to PCIe-attached FPGA-based cards. Based on the experiments, the performance of page migrations may even exceed that of conventional DMA copy-based accelerator operations by overlapping computations and migrations.

    The second paper entitled Scalable and Flexible High-Performance In-Network Processing of Hash Joins in Distributed Databases – by Johannes Wirth, Jaco A. Hofmann, Lasse Thostrup, Carsten Binnig, Andreas Koch – combines the usage of DDR-DRAM and HBM memories to implement an FPGA-based In-Network Hash Join accelerator. By doing so, larger joins are supported, as well as the far-faster and more-parallel HBM accesses can be leveraged. As a result, the accelerator achieves 3x higher performance compared to previous work, which was based on HBM only.

    Good work everyone!

    By Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, 5.11.2021


  • Lukas Sommer defends his Ph.D.-thesis

    ​​On 18th October 2021, Lukas Sommer successfully defended his Ph.D.-thesis entitled Programming Heterogeneous Systems with General and Domain-Specific Frameworks. In his work, Lukas investigated general and domain-specific solutions to the challenges of heterogeneous systems programming.

    Lukas’ contributions comprise the identification of key factors to assess the suitability of general programming frameworks for applications and target platforms. Furthermore, he developed a domain-specific compiler for Sum-Product Networks (SPNs) that can target CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs. The SPN programs produced by Lukas’ compiler can reach inference throughput of multiple orders of magnitude higher compared to existing Python-based libraries.

    Congratulations to Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer!

    By Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, 20.10.2021


  • ESA contributes with article on AutoDock-GPU to HiPEAC info 64

    The latest issue of the HiPEAC Info magazine is out now! And it features an article about the latest developments of AutoDock-GPU, the GPU-accelerated molecular docking application we developed in collaboration with the ForliLab at Scripps Research.

    This article describes how AutoDock-GPU helps improving the processing speed of drug discovery simulations, as well as how the AutoDock-GPU’s code has been set to work on computers all over the globe, ranging from Rasberry Pis to servers equipped with high-end GPUs. This is thanks to the recent efforts by Scripps Research and the World Community Grid, which have enabled the use of AutoDock-GPU in the OpenPandemics: COVID-19 project.

    Enjoy reading the full HiPEAC info 64 magazine!

    By Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, 18.10.2021


  • Two ESA papers get accepted at H2RC 2021

    We are very happy to announce that two submitted papers by our group have been accepted for presentation at H2RC 2021.

    The first paper entitled Near Data FPGA-Accelerated Processing of Collective and Inference Operations in Disaggregated Memory Systems – by Carsten Heinz and Andreas Koch – realizes an FPGA-based disaggregated system that extends distributed memory controllers with hardware-accelerated compute capabilities. This work provides a system capable of performing Near-Data Processing (NDP) operations, as well as an automated tool flow aimed for high usability of the proposed technology, even to users unfamiliar with hardware design.

    The second paper entitled Optimizing a Hardware Network Stack to Realize an In-Network ML Inference Application – by Marco Hartmann, Lukas Weber, Johannes Wirth, Lukas Sommer, and Andreas Koch — integrates into the open-source TaPaSCo framework, a high-throughput hardware network stack, which can operate at or close to theoretical performance in a network-attached machine learning inference appliance. Furthermore, this work provides a library of easy-to-use design primitives for network functionality, and thus, aims to facilitate the development of network-attached FPGA-based accelerators.

    Good work everyone!

    By Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, 1.10.2021


  • ESA paper gets accepted at IA^3 2021

    We are very happy to announce that our submitted paper has been accepted for presentation at IA^3 2021.

    This paper entitled Mapping Irregular Computations for Molecular Docking to the SX-Aurora TSUBASA Vector Engine – by Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, Erich Focht, and Andreas Koch – is a result of the collaboration with NEC Deutschland GmbH.

    This work leverages the vector processing capabilities of the SX-Aurora TSUBASA to efficiently perform molecular docking computations. As a result, docking executions on the Vector Engine (VE) are around 3x faster than a CPU server equipped with 128 cores. Furthermore, in certain cases, the VE achieves comparable performance to a V100 GPU, even though the latter device uses newer chip fabrication technology compared to the VE.

    Good work everyone!

    By Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez, 27.09.2021


  • Open position "LLVM / MLIR dialect development" (student assistant, all genders)

    We have an open position for a student assistant (all genders) to help us with the design and implementation of an MLIR dialect to represent a domain-specific language. If you are interested in gaining practical experience with the state-of-the-art compiler framework, and passionate about compiler hacking in general, this is the job for you.

    For more details, have a look at the job offer, and send your applications (or questions!) to Julian Oppermann.

    By Dr.-Ing. Julian Oppermann, 7.07.2021


  • ESA wins Best Paper Award at DASIP 2021

    Our work DExIE - An IoT-Class Hardware Monitor for Real-Time Fine-Grained Control-Flow Integrity has won a Best Paper Award at DASIP2021. We are extremely happy. Thanks to the committee for selecting our work!

    Congratulations also to the other nominees on their excellent work!

    By Christoph Spang, 2.02.2021


  • ESA wins Best Paper Award at FCCM 2020

    We are extremely happy that our work Comparison of Arithmetic Number Formats for Inference in Sum-Product Networks on FPGAs together with our colleague Martin Kumm has won the Best Paper Award at this year’s FCCM2020. Thanks to the committee for selecting our work!

    Congratulations also to the other nominees on their excellent work!

    Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic did not allow us to present our paper in person, but a video of the talk is available for free at the FCCM virtual conference, where you can also find talks and forums for all other papers accepted at FCCM.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 5.05.2020


  • First public release of lectureStudio available!

    We have been developing and using our tool lectureStudio for lecture recordings for many years now. After a phase of intensive beta-testing, we are releasing the first public version today! We hope that the tool will help many people to set up alternative e-learning formats in these challenging times, where the Corona-pandemic does not allow us to come together in person to give lectures.

    lectureStudio does not only provide an easy-to-use interface for lecture recordings, but also allows to augment slides during the lecture with free-hand drawings and highlighting. Next to that, lectureStudio comes with a number of interesting features for interactive lectures, such as messaging or quizzes.

    lectureStudio is free to use and we will open-source its source-code in the near future. You can find installers and documentation on the software page.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 23.04.2020


  • Paper accepted for FCCM 2020

    Our work titled Comparison of Arithmetic Number Formats for Inference in Sum-Product Networks on FPGAs has been accepted for publication at FCCM2020. The paper investigates the suitability of three different hardware arithmetic formats for the implementation of FPGA-based hardware accelerators for inference in Sum-Product Networks. This work integrates with our previous work on hardware accelerators presented at TPM2018, ICCD2018, FPT2019 and H2RC2019.

    Next to researchers from ESA, our former colleague and now professor at HS Fulda, Martin Kumm, contributed to this work. We would also like to thank our colleagues Alejandro Molina and Kristian Kersting from the Machine Learning Lab at TU Darmstadt.

    As FCCM will be held as virtual event this year, we will provide a recording of the paper talk in May.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 27.03.2020


  • Open PhD Positions

    We are currently actively looking to hire a Ph.D. student (Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in) of any gender to do research on extending RISC-V processors. More information is available here

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    By Prof. Dr-Ing. Andreas Koch, 18.12.2019


  • Open position for a student assistant (all genders)

    The Embedded Systems and Applications Group (ESA) at TU Darmstadt currently has an open position for a student assistant (all genders). ESA is looking for a student who will support the team in a new project by developing Machine Learning (ML) solutions for practically relevant applications as benchmarks for acceleration toolflows on multiple platforms (CPU, GPU, FPGA).

    For more details, have a look at the job offer and contact Lukas Sommer in case of any questions.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 17.12.2019


  • Presentation at H2RC 2019

    At the Heterogeneous High-performance Reconfigurable Computing workshop (H2RC 2019), Lukas Sommer presented our paper High-Throughput Multi-Threaded Sum-Product Network Inference in the Reconfigurable Cloud, authored by Micha Ober, Jaco Hofmann, Lukas Sommer, Lukas Weber and Andreas Koch.

    In this work, we presented an extension of our TaPaSCo open-source framework to F1 instances available in Amazon’s AWS EC2 cloud. To demonstrate the potential of this platform, we ported our Sum-Product Accelerator to the reconfigurable cloud.

    Users interested in using TaPaSCo for AWS EC2 F1 instances can track the status of the integration into mainline TaPaSCo in the TaPaSCo wiki.

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    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 17.11.2019


  • Julian Oppermann defends his Ph.D.-thesis

    On October 30th, 2019 Julian Oppermann successfully defended his Ph.D.-thesis Advances in ILP-based Modulo Scheduling for High-Level Synthesis. In his work, Julian was able to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in modulo scheduling for High-Level Synthesis.

    Congratulations to Dr.-Ing. Julian Oppermann!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 30.10.2019


  • Leonardo Solis-Vasquez defends his Ph.D.-thesis

    On October 14th, 2019 Leonardo Solis-Vasquez successfully defended his Ph.D.-thesis entitled Accelerating Molecular Docking by Parallelized Heterogeneous Computing - a Case Study of Performance, Quality of Results, and Energy-Efficiency using CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs. In his work, Leonardo contributed accelerated implementations for GPUs and FPGAs to AutoDock, a framework for molecular docking in drug design.

    Congratulations to Dr.-Ing. Leonardo Solis-Vasquez!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 14.10.2019


  • Two papers accepted for FPT 2019

    Two submissions by ESA have been accepted for publication at FPT 2019.

    The first paper by Julian Oppermann, Lukas Sommer, Lukas Weber, Melanie Reuter-Oppermann, Andreas Koch and Oliver Sinnen is titled SkyCastle: A Resource-Aware Multi-Loop Scheduler for High-Level Synthesis. In this paper, we developed a resource-aware approach to modulo-scheduling, that integrates allocation and scheduling into a single formulation. This allows to optimize performance by pipelining multiple loops in a kernel while maintaining a given resource allocation.

    The second paper by Lukas Weber, Lukas Sommer, Julian Oppermann, Alejandro Molina, Kristian Kersting and Andreas Koch is titled Resource-Efficient Logarithmic Number Scale Arithmetic for SPN Inference on FPGAs. As part of this work, we developed hardware arithmetic operators using the so-called Logarithmic Number System (LNS) for Sum-Product Network inference on FPGAs. In this use-case, the use of LNS allows to save a significant amount of hardware resources while maintaining sufficient accuracy.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 8.10.2019


  • Paper accepted for ReConFig 2019

    The paper titled A Catalog and In-Hardware Evaluation of Open-Source Drop-In Compatible RISC-V Softcore Processors by Carsten Heinz, Yannick Lavan, Jaco Hofmann and Andreas Koch has been accepted for presentation at ReConFig 2019.

    Carsten and his team developed a catalog of open-source RISC-V cores for use with our TaPaSCo framework and conducted an extensive evaluation of these cores on different platforms.

    The catalog of RISC-V cores and the wrappers for TaPaSCo are publicly available on Github.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 30.09.2019


  • Termin und Raum AER Klausur 2019

    Die Klausur findet dieses Mal in Raum S202/C205 statt. Beginn ist am 23.07.2019 um 12 Uhr.

    By Dr.-Ing. Jaco Hofmann, 14.07.2019


  • Paper accepted for EMSoft

    As part of the EPHoS-project together with FAT, we have created a collection of benchmark kernels, which allow to assess the performance of different parallel programming models on embedded platforms, such as Nvidia Jetson.

    A paper about this benchmark suite has now been accepted for presentation at EMSoft as part of ESWeek 2019 in New York. Together with the paper, we will release our benchmark suite as open-source software on our Github page, so stay tuned!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 10.07.2019


  • Report of the EPHoS project available

    Throughout the last year, we have been collaborating with the Forschungsvereinigung Automobiltechnik(FAT) to investigate how established parallel programming models from the HPC-domain such as OpenMP, CUDA and OpenCL can be used to parallelize critical workloads in tomorrow’s automotive vehicles.

    The report of the project is now available for download as volume 317 of the FAT Schriftenreihe.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 1.07.2019


  • TaPaSCo at ISC 2019

    Upon invitation by the HiPEAC network, we presented our open-source framework TaPaSCo at ISC-HPC 2019.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by at the booth to learn about how TaPaSCo can help them to build a heterogeneous accelerator SoC for datacenter workloads!

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    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 17.06.2019


  • Release of TaPaSCo version 2019.6

    In time for ISC-HCP 2019 we have completed the release of TaPaSCo version 2019.6 today!

    The release contains a whole lot of new features for the TaPaSCo toolflow and improvements to make bitstream generation faster and more configurable.

    Check out the release notes on Github for the full list of new features and improvements.

    Also, don’t forget to visit us at booth A-1414 on ISC-HPC on Monday afternoon!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 14.06.2019


  • Release of TaPaSCo version 2018.2

    We have just completed the release of TaPaSCo version 2018.2! The new release bundles the work of almost one year and contains numerous new features, platforms (Virtex Ultrascale+, Alveo, …) and stability improvements.

    Check out the release on Github to find more information about the new features and download TaPaSCo.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 14.05.2019


  • Paper accepted for Euro-Par 2019

    Our paper titled “Design-Space Exploration with Multi-Objective Resource-Aware Modulo Scheduling” was accepted for publication at Euro-Par.

    The paper proposes a new approach for design-space exploration of custom hardware implementations by combining resource allocation and modulo scheduling. Using problem-specific rules, we were able to exclude obviously dominated solutions from the design space before scheduling and synthesis. The evaluation shows the benefits of our approach regarding runtime at the design level when compared to a standard, multi-criteria optimisation method.

    By Dr.-Ing. Julian Oppermann, 10.05.2019


  • PANDAS project kickoff

    Today marks the start of the new PANDAS project as part of ESA’s research. The goal of PANDAS (Programmable Appliance for Near-Data processing Accelerated Storage) is to develop a new, smart mass storage card. By combining large numbers of flash memories and programmable logic (FPGAs), critical applications can be accelerated using near-data processing. The resulting PANDAS card is mainly intended for usage with database (e.g. RocksDB) systems, but should be usable with a large variety of applications.

    As part of PANDAS, we also welcome Lukas Weber as the newest member of the ESA team. Lukas has previously been with ESA as a student research assistant and during his master thesis.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 1.05.2019


  • TaPaSCo article in HiPEAC info 57

    HiPEAC info 57 is out and it features an article about our open-source framework TaPaSCo. Check out the article to learn how TaPaSCo can support you when you need to build an FPGA-based heterogeneous system from your accelerator and want to interface it from software.

    You can find even more information about TaPaSCo in the recent paper and on Github.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 15.04.2019


  • TaPaSCo tutorial @ ARC 2019

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    Part of the ARC2019 symposium hosted by ESA was a tutorial about our open-source framework TaPaSCo.

    In a combination of short presentations and hands-on sessions, the tutorial covered all necessary steps of the design process for a heterogeneous SoC with TaPaSCo. More than 25 participants of ARC took the opportunity to learn about how the TaPaSCo framework can help them in their every-day research.

    The whole tutorial was recorded and we will make a complete video available soon, together with the materials from the tutorial.

    If you want to learn more about TaPaSCo, check out the paper or TaPaSCo on Github.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 11.04.2019


  • ARC 2019 hosted by ESA

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    From April 9th to April 11th 21019, ESA was host to the 25th edition of the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing (ARC).

    More than 50 researchers from all over the world gathered in Darmstadt to discuss new architectures and innovative applications for reconfigurable computing. Also part of the conference were two socials events, a guided tour through GSI Helmhotz Zentrum and an interesting visit to ESOC, followed by the conference dinner.

    A big thank you to all participants, who made this an interesting conference, and all people involved in the organization of the event!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 10.04.2019


  • ESA @ EuroLLVM 2019

    The 2019 European LLVM developer’s meeting saw two contributions by students from ESA.

    Michael Halkenhäuser successfully participated in the student research competition. As part of the competition, he presented the results of his bachelor thesis, supervised by Lukas Sommer. In this thesis, Michael has developed an alternative OpenMP backend for the polyhedral compilation infrastructure polly, which can act as an drop-in replacement for the existing OpenMP backend. Michael’s new backend was able to achieve significant speedups over the old backend and is now part of the polly project. Take a look at the recording of his talk, to find out more about his work.

    Robin Kruppe gave a talk together with Roger Espasa from Esperanto Technologies, presenting details on the RISC-V vector extensions and the current status of support in LLVM. In his job as student assistant at ESA, Robin is doing important work to support code-generation for the RISC-V vector extension as part of the LLVM project. A recording of this talk is also available on YouTube.

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 9.04.2019


  • Robin Kruppe wins CGO 2019 Student Research Competition

    ESA is proud to announce that our student Robin Kruppe has won the gold medal (graduate category) in this year’s CGO student research competition.

    In his work titled “Extending LLVM for Lightweight SPMD Vectorization: Using SIMD and Vector Instructions Easily From Any Language”, Robin presented the results of his bachelor thesis, which was supervised by Julian Oppermann. In his thesis, Robin extended the auto-vectorization of LLVM for architectures supporting masked SIMD-instructions (e.g. Nyuzi) and exposed the vectorization interface via LLVM intrinsics.

    Congratulations to Robin on this great achievement!

    By Dr.-Ing. Lukas Sommer, 20.02.2019