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EP/K008730/1 - PAMELA: a Panoramic Approach to the Many-CorE LAndsape - from end-user to end-device: a holistic game-changing approach

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Professor S B Furber EP/K008730/1 - PAMELA: a Panoramic Approach to the Many-CorE LAndsape - from end-user to end-device: a holistic game-changing approach

Principal Investigator - Computer Science, The University of Manchester

Other Investigators

Professor AJ Davison, Co InvestigatorProfessor AJ Davison

Dr B Franke, Co InvestigatorDr B Franke

Dr DA Ham, Co InvestigatorDr DA Ham

Professor P Kelly, Co InvestigatorProfessor P Kelly

Dr DR Lester, Co InvestigatorDr DR Lester

Dr M Lujan, Co InvestigatorDr M Lujan

Professor M O'Boyle, Co InvestigatorProfessor M O'Boyle

Professor N Topham, Co InvestigatorProfessor N Topham

Scheme

Programme Grants

Research Areas

Architecture and Operating Systems Architecture and Operating Systems

Image and Vision Computing Image and Vision Computing

Microelectronics Design Microelectronics Design

Programming Languages and Compilers Programming Languages and Compilers

Start Date

03/2013

End Date

02/2018

Value

£4,135,048

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

The last decade has seen a significant shift in the way computers are designed. Up to the turn of the millennium advances in performance were achieved by making a single processor, which could execute a single program at a time, go faster, usually by increasing the frequency of its clock signal. But shortly after the turn of the millennium it became clear that this approach was running into a brick wall - the faster clock meant the processor got hotter, and the amount of heat that can be dissipated in a silicon chip before it fails is limited; that limit was approaching rapidly!

Quite suddenly several high-profile projects were cancelled and the industry found a new approach to higher performance. Instead of making one processor go ever faster, the number of processor cores could be increased. Multi-core processors had arrived: first dual core, then quad-core, and so on. As microchip manufacturing capability continues to increase the number of transistors that can be integrated on a single chip, the number of cores continues to rise, and now multi-core is giving way to many-core systems - processors with 10s of cores, running 10s of programs at the same time.

This all seems fine at the hardware level - more transistors means more cores - but this change from one to many programs running at the same time has caused many difficulties for the programmers who develop applications for these new systems. Writing a program that runs on a single core is much better understood than writing a program that is actually 10s of programs running at the same time, interacting with each other in complex and hard-to-predict ways. To make life for the programmer even harder, with many-core systems it is often best not to make all the cores identical; instead, heterogeneous many-core systems offer the promise of much higher efficiency with specialised cores handling specialised parts of the overall program, but this is even harder for the programmer to manage.

The Programme of projects we plan to undertake will bring the most advanced techniques in computer science to bear on this complex problem, focussing particularly on how we can optimise the hardware and software configurations together to address the important application domain of 3D scene understanding. This will enable a future smart phone fitted with a camera to scan a scene and not only to store the picture it sees, but also to understand that the scene includes a house, a tree, and a moving car. In the course of addressing this application we expect to learn a lot about optimising many-core systems that will have wider applicability too, and the prospect of making future electronic products more efficient, more capable, and more useful.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: PAMELA: a Panoramic Approach to the Many-CorE LAndsape - from end-user to end-device: a holistic game-changing approach - EP/K008730/1
Start Date: 2013-03-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2018-02-28T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: The University of Manchester

Description: The last decade has seen a significant shift in the way computers are designed. Up to the turn of the millennium advances in performance were achieved by making a single processor, which could execute a single program at a time, go faster, usually by incre ...