Scientic Supervisor / Contact Person
Localization & Research Area
MSCA & ERC experience
Research Team & Research Topic
In relation to the project, recently we have released PERCIVAL, that is our posit-enabled RISC-V core integrating the xPosit extension (https://github.com/artecs-group/PERCIVAL), and Flo-Posit, a repository with posit arithmetic units (https://github.com/RaulMurillo/Flo-Posit) employed in PERCIVAL. The latter is the main outcome of the PARNASO project, awarded by the 2020 Leonardo Grants program of the BBVA Foundation and whose PI has been Dr. Alberto del Barrio.
Recently, new arithmetic formats as the posits, aka universal numbers version 3, have appeared for representing real numbers. Posits were introduced by John L. Gustafson in 2017 to mitigate the problems inherent in floating point, defined by the IEEE-754 standard. This format promises to achieve dynamic ranges similar to the floating point, reducing the bitwidth by half, so its impact on consumption, memory latency, operations execution time and more on any hardware system can be enormous. Besides, posits leverage a large accumulator called quire that avoid losing precision in data-intensive calculations, so they are very well suited for scientific calculations.
However, due to the novelty of the posits, they are not standard and in general they need to be emulated through software libraries, which implies a huge loss of performance as soon as the application has a certain complexity. In the last two years several RISC-V-based processors have appeared in literature to integrate posit calculations, PERCIVAL being one of the most complete. Nevertheless, there are open challenges such as: improving programmability capabilities going beyond assembly, lack of high-level compiling support or the deployment of parallel architectures.
The objective of this project is to mitigate the afforementioned problems by constructing a SW/HW environment able to provide an ultra-accurate platform to perform scientific calculations, as well as a friendly programming environment to make the programming task easier.
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