Leonidas Kosmidis receives the HiPEAC Technology Transfer Award 2021

08 February 2022

Dr. Leonidas Kosmidis, senior researcher at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), has won a HiPEAC Technology Transfer Award for the second time. His winning technology, ‘GPU4S Bench: An open GPU benchmarking suite for space on-board processing’, provides a resource to help assess the suitability of new high-performance devices such as graphics processing units (GPUs) for processing tasks usually found in space applications.

Developed in collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space, GPU4S Bench is an outcome of the ESA-funded GPU4S (GPU for Space) project, coordinated by Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).

‘It's a great recognition for our work to receive a HiPEAC Technology Transfer Award,’ commented Kosmidis. ‘Early in the GPU4S project, we noticed that there was a considerable lack of space-relevant software that could be used to evaluate new high-performance devices for space use and compare these with existing space processors, due to intellectual property (IP) restrictions. In response we created GPU4S Bench, based on common algorithms found among various space domains. Our GPU4S Bench algorithm implementations have been adopted as part of the OBPMark applications, which are in public beta and which we are developing with European Space Agency (ESA).’

Kosmidis’ students Iván Rodríguez Ferrández and Álvaro Jover Álvarez implemented GPU4S Bench as part of their master's theses, with the latter contributing also to the Horizon 2020 UP2DATE project in which BSC participates.

‘Interestingly, in the UP2DATE project we faced a similar need, so we decided to port GPU4S Bench to multicore devices and use it to compare the computational capabilities of our project platforms, which feature both multicore central processing units (CPUs) and GPUs and again target safety-critical markets. In this way, GPU4S Bench has already started returning public investment and opens the door to reproducible and open evaluations for complex platforms – not limited to GPUs – across all critical domains,’ Kosmidis added.

Further developments are ongoing as part of other theses at BSC and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-Barcelona Tech, such as encryption algorithms for space (Marc Solé Bonet) and machine-learning applications for space (Jannis Wolf). These will be released over the coming months. Both GPU4S Bench and its evolution OBPMark, which consists of complex space applications built with GPU4S Bench common algorithms, are open source with an ESA GPL-like licence. ESA expects to make considerable savings in the future projects it funds by replacing its benchmarks suites and promoting the use of GPU4S Bench and OBPMark in new projects, allowing reproducible comparisons between different hardware platforms and among different projects.

This is the second time Kosmidis has been recognised with a HiPEAC Technology Transfer Award. In 2019, he received the award for his open-source project Brook SC, which allows safety-critical applications to be programmed in the CUDA-like high-level general-purpose GPU language, Brook.

Awarded annually, HiPEAC Technology Transfer Awards recognise technology transfer within the European Union-funded HiPEAC network. For the purposes of the awards, technology transfer is defined as a contractually documented joint- or privately funded academia-industry project or technology licence agreement, with the goal of bringing a concrete research result into industrial practice. All applications are evaluated by an internal technology transfer committee, and first-time winners are awarded the sum of €1,000 for the team that developed the technology.

HiPEAC has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 871174.

Further information: https://www.hipeac.net/news/6975/announcing-the-winners-of-the-hipeac-tech-transfer-awards-2021