Handbook of European HPC projects


Optimizing Industrial Applications for Heterogeneous HPC systems

In order to support the expanding demands for processing power from emerging HPC applications, within a pragmatic energy envelope, the future HPC systems will incorporate accelerators. One promising approach, to-wards this end, is the utilization of FPGAs; the main advantage of those devices is that, since they can be reconfigured at any time so as to implement tailor-made application accelerators, their energy efficiency and/or performance, in most of the cases, is much higher than that of CPUs and GPUs. 

OPTIMA is an SME-driven project aiming to port and optimize a number of industrial applications as well as a set of open-source libraries, utilized in at least 3 different application domains, to two novel FPGA-populated HPC systems: a Maxeler MPC-X node located at the Jülich Supercomputer Centre and the ExaNest prototype located at the Institute of Computer Science – FORTH. Several innovative programming environments, toolchains and runtimes will be utilized including Maxeler’s MaxCompiler, Xilinx Runtime (XRT) and Fraunhofer’s GASPI/GPI-2. It is expected that the applications and the libraries will be executed, in those heterogeneous HPC systems at significantly higher energy-efficiency as described by the Energy Delay Product metric (EDP); in particular, the EDPof the OPTIMA applications and libraries when executed on the targeted FPGA-based HPC systems, is expected to be more than 10x higher than that triggered by CPU-based systems and more than 3x higher than the GPU-based ones. 

The main outcomes of OPTIMA will be that: 

• the participating SMEs will gain a significant advantage since they will be able to execute their applications much more efficiently than the competition, 

• it will be further proved that Europe is at the forefront of developing efficient FPGA-populated HPC systems and application/libraries taking advantage of them, 

• the open-source libraries as well as the open-source applications developed within OPTIMA will allow third parties to easily target FPGA-based HPC systems for their application developments, 

• there will be an open-to-use HPC infrastructure supported by a specially formed sustainability body. 


Project’s contact

Industrial software codes for extreme scale computing environments and applications


Coordinating Organization:
Telecommunication Systems Institute, Greece

Project Timespan
2021-03-01 – 2023-11-30

Other Partners:
  • Cyberbotics SARL, Switzerland
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V., Germany
  • Exascale Performance Systems – EXAPSYS P.C., Greece
  • ICCS – Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece
  • M3E S.r.l., Italy
  • Maxeler IoT-Labs B.V., Netherlands
  • FZJ – Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany
  • EnginSoft SpA, Italy
  • Appentra Solutions SL, Spain