An EU Horizon 2020 Project

Architecting More Than Moore

Wireless Plasticity for Massive Heterogeneous Computer Architectures

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The Project

The main design principles in computer architecture have shifted from a monolithic scaling-driven approach towards an emergence of heterogeneous architectures that tightly co-integrate multiple specialized computing and memory units. This is motivated by the urgent need of very high parallelism and by energy constraints. Heterogeneous hardware specialization requires interconnection mechanisms that integrate the architecture. State-of-the-art approaches are 3D stacking and 2D architectures complemented with a Network-on-Chip (NoC) to interconnect the components. However, such interconnects are fundamentally monolithic and rigid, and are unable to provide the efficiency and architectural flexibility required by current and future key ICT applications. The main challenge is to introduce diversification and specialization in heterogeneous processor architectures while ensuring their generality and scalability.

In order to achieve this, the WiPLASH project aims to pioneer an on-chip wireless communication plane able to provide architectural plasticity, reconfigurability and adaptation to the application requirements with near-ASIC efficiency but without loss of generality. For this, the WiPLASH consortium will provide solid experimental foundations of the key enablers of on-chip wireless communication at the functional unit level as well as their technological and architectural integration.

Main Goals

  • Prototype a miniaturized and tunable graphene antenna in the terahertz band,
  • Co-integrate graphene RF components with submillimeter-wave transceivers and
  • Demonstrate low-power reconfigurable wireless chip-scale networks.

The culminating goal is to demonstrate that the wireless plane offers the plasticity required by future computing platforms by improving at least one key application (mainly biologically-plausible deep learning architectures) by 10× in terms of execution speed and energy-delay product over a state-of-the-art baseline.

Research

The WiPLASH research project takes a vertical approach and touches upon different aspects of design from the implementation and integration of graphene antennas to the development of heterogeneous architectures based on wireless in-package communications. Research is divided into seven work packages:

  • WP1: RF Devices Design and Implementation
  • WP2: Technological Integration
  • WP3: Wireless Communications within a Computing Package
  • WP4: Massively Parallel Heterogeneous Architectures
  • WP5: Heterogeneous Simulation and Optimization Frameworks
  • WP6: Dissemination and Exploitation
  • WP7: Management

work packages

Conference publications

R. Guirado, H. Kwon, E. Alarcón, S. Abadal, T. Krishna,
Understanding the Impact of On-Chip Communication on DNN Accelerator Performance
in Proceedings of the ICECS ’19, Genova, Italy, November 2019.

In the News

EU to Fund Three Groundbreaking Research Ideas,” Press release RWTH Aachen, 1 Oct 2019.

AMO Launches Three New FET Open Projects,” AMO blog, 1 Oct 2019.

EU logo This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 863337.

Project Coordination: Sergi Abadal (UPC)
www.upc.edu