Als eine Gruppe der Technischen Informatik arbeiten wir an der Schnittstelle von Hardware und Software. Der Schwerpunkt unser aktuellen Forschung liegt dabei auf der effizienten Bereitstellung von Rechenleistung. Effizient heisst hier, dass die in diversen Anwendungsgebieten erforderliche Rechenleistung nicht oder nur mit hohem Energieverbrauch von Standardprozessoren bereitgestellt werden kann.

Als Alternative schlagen wir adaptive Computer vor, die einen kleineren, energieeffizienten Standardprozessor mit einer hoch optimierten rekonfigurierbaren Recheneinheit kombinieren. Letztere kann in ihrer Struktur optimal an die Anforderungen der aktuellen Anwendung angepasst werden und so die Spitzenlast der Rechenleistung bei niedrigerem Energieverbrauch bereitstellen.

Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, realisieren wir Hardware-Erprobungsplattformen für solche Rechnerarchitekturen (einschließlich der erforderlichen Betriebssystemanpassungen) und erproben diese dann anhand von praktischen Anwendungen. Nach den sehr vielversprechenden Ergebnissen dieser Untersuchungen haben wir unser Augenmerk nun darauf gerichtet, die Programmierbarkeit adaptiver Computer so zu verbessern, dass sie auch von Entwicklern ohne Kenntnisse des Hardware-Entwurfs genutzt werden können. Dazu entsteht ein kompletter Compiler-Fluss, der eine Hochsprache automatisch auf die beiden Recheneinheiten aufteilt. Der an die rekonfigurierbare Recheneinheit zugewiesene Teil wird dann mit Methoden der Hardware-Synthese und des Chip-Entwurfs (Mapping, Platzierung, Verdrahtung) automatisch in eine dort ausführbare Struktur transformiert.

Da wir für dieses Unterfangen natürlich auf die Mitarbeit durch interessierte Studierende mit entsprechenden Vorkenntnissen angewiesen sind, werden für diese Themen auch einführende Lehrveranstaltungen entwickelt.

News

  • 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 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 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 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 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.

    alt text

    By Lukas Sommer, 17.11.2019


You can find more news in our archive.