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Evolution of Heterogeneous Systems: New Trends & Challenges

Eric Sivertson  (Founder & CEO, QuantumTrace)

Location: Room 201

Date: Thursday, August 29

Time: 1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Track: ESC - Embedded Software Design & Verification, ESC - Embedded Hardware Design & Verification

Format: Technical Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Just like the requirement to learn how to ride a horse was rendered useless by the automobile, the requirement to learn how to ‘program computers and robots’ will be removed by artificial intelligence that can program itself. Programmers and society will morph.

As heterogeneous platforms rapidly become the norm driven by mass influx of data from the automation of the edge, more and more traditional software architects & developers will be required to design within these heterogeneous computing platforms. This will happen at the simplest compute nodes at the most distant points on the edge (think single microcontrollers at data ingestion points connected directly to low cost, simple sensors) all the way to the massive big data compute farms in the cloud required to makes sense of the peta-bytes (and inevitable yotta-bytes) of aggregated & dis-aggregated data that will be increasing in both veracity and velocity.

And, just like all major inflection points, it doesn’t happen overnight, but occurs gradually, then rapidly as newer technologies and processes come on-line. In order to keep up with the processing demands, traditional software system architects will have to rely on distributed heterogeneous systems composed primarily of legacy multi-core instruction set architecture (ISA) microprocessors (e.g. Intel x86 platforms) combined with a growing number of flexible hardware co-processing off-load engines (predominantly GPUs and FPGA based systems). Today they have no real tools to enable them to handle these environments.

A fresh approach to development of heterogeneous systems at both a small gate count level, scalable all the way up to multi-chip, multi-board, and multi-box distributed hyper-converged platforms is required.

What hardware and software tools will lead in this coming evolution?