Feng and Sandu awarded grant for hardware/software co-design project

Publish Date: 09/27/2012

Dr. Wu Feng, PI, Dr. Adrian Sandu, co-PI, and co-PIs at Virginia Tech Eric de Sturler (Math), Chris Roy (AOE), Danesh Tafti (ME) and co-PIs at NC State Jack Edwards (ME), Hong Luo (ME), and Frank Mueller (CS) were awarded funding from the AFSOR Basic Research Initiative program. The grant is titled "Co-Design of Hardware/Software for Predicting MAV Aerodynamics."

Dr. Feng describes the project: "While Moore’s Law theoretically doubles processor performance every 24 months, much of the realizable performance remains untapped because the burden falls to the (less informed) domain scientist or engineer to exploit parallel hardware for performance gains. Even when such untapped hardware potential is fully realized, it is often not coupled with advances in algorithmic innovation, which can deliver further (multiplicative) speed-up beyond Moore’s Law. Building on our past success in adapting our CPU-based parallel implementations of n-body methods and spectral methods onto the GPU via an ad-hoc hardware/software co-design process, we seek to formalize the aforementioned co-design process and apply it to the structured/unstructured grid motifs found in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in support of aerodynamic predictions for micro air vehicles (MAVs). While many past efforts to develop such CFD codes on accelerated processors have shown limited success, our proposed hardware/software co-design approach will create malleable algorithms that can be mapped and optimized onto the right type of processing core at the right time, and in turn, deliver orders of magnitude better performance than would have otherwise been possible by Moore’s Law alone."

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