A research project aiming to revolutionize the way in which integrated circuits are designed and manufactured as well as how computer software is developed, is currently being run by three professors of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Thessaly in central Greece.
For their project, which aims to “relax” the requirement for 100% material reliability so as to improve performance and reduce energy consumption, the Greek professors Nikolaos Bellas, Christos Antonopoulos and Spiros Lalis secured funding from the EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies unit. The unit supports’ only research efforts have the potential of leading to significant innovations and is the most prestigious funding source in the field of information and communication technologies within the EU. Only five percent of the proposals submitted by European universities and research institutes are selected for funding.
The SCoRPiO project (Significance-based Computing for Reliability and Power Optimization) will explore methods for classifying the significance of calculations and data but focuses also on techniques for assigning them into subsystems of processors and computer memories, which will operate either at a lower voltage and probably unreliable, or at higher voltage and completely reliable. It is projected that these innovations will reduce energy consumption without significantly affecting the final result, thus leading to improved and energy-efficient computer systems.
The project, which is supervised by the Greek center for research and technology of Thessaly has a duration of three years and is done in cooperation with leading European universities and research institutions in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium and the U.K. Major companies of the field, such as IBM, ST Microelectronics and Phillips Research, have already shown interest and follow the project as external observers.