Section: Contracts and Grants with Industry
CILOE with BULL, Compagnie des Signaux, TIMA, CEA-LETI, LIG, Edxact, Infiniscale, Probayes, SCelectronique, 06-10
The increasingly miniaturization of components and the ever-increasing complexity of electronic circuits for communication systems requires a set of sophisticated tools for design and simulation. These tools in turn often require immense computational resources, sometimes more than several orders of magnitude above the performance of a desktop PC or a workstation. These tools are so compute-intensive that they require supercomputers, clusters and grids. However, these types of computing resources are often not within the reach of PME's (relatively small companies or startups) in the semiconductor industry and sometimes even large companies, not only because of the cost of infrastructure, but also because of the lack of adequate methods and technologies for high performance computing.
In the association of Minalogic, there are about twenty PME's that develop CAD software, and other companies in the field of embedded systems, the design of electronic circuits, and the simulation process. The most advanced companies utilize high performance computing, and the others will have to do so in 2 or 3 years. All of these companies are confronted with a notable lack of services and facilities for intensive computing, which heavily affect their competitiveness and speed of development.
It is in this context that the partners of this CILOE project propose to design and develop a complete computational infrastructure, including methodologies, software, and security mechanisms. This infrastructure will contribute decisively to the development and visibility of the international PME partners in the project. It will be an essential tool for a sustainable boost in the sector of electronic CAD, embedded software and high-performance simulation and moreover, facilitate growth for all companies in the electronics industry in Alpes region.
This project has three main objectives that will allow industry to leverage large-scale compute-intensive platforms:
Reduce the delay in the development of reliable software of the industry partners (Jivaro for Edxact, ProBayes-BT for Probayes, Stressio for SC Online). The validation of software improvements requires numerous test cases of modest size but also test cases of much larger size. For example, the biggest test case (15 GB approximately) for the software Jivaro of the company Edxact requires computation on the order of days. Often, the long duration of these computations can delay the validation of software. The goal here is to improve the competitiveness of local companies so that they can provide more quickly new versions of their software that has been completely validated in a number of tests.
Develop highly parallel versions of software of the PME/PMI partners. The targeted architectures here are clusters of multi-core machines and specialized processors (system-on-a-chip multi-processors, NoC-; Cell). This technological gain for business partners (Edxact, ProBayes) will enhance their competitiveness.
Experiment with services for enabling resource access by applications. This would be based on the principles of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). In the models of IaaS and SaaS, customers of the PME partners do not have to pay for the construction and maintenance of the entire infrastructure and software licenses. Instead, the customers only pay for their direct use. Once the infrastructure and services are deployed, customer access is enabled through a simple Web interface, which will allow PME's to cheaply target a global market.