March 27, 2014
ECE Associate Professor Franz Franchetti is the lead on two DARPA contracts. The first project, ($6.5M over 4.5 years) brings together robotics, code synthesis, formal proofs, compilers and signal processing. It includes the work of Soummya Kar and Jose’ Moura of ECE, along with Andre Platzer and Manuela Veloso of Computer Science and additional faculty from other universities. According to Franchetti, “This project aims at providing a framework and tools to provide high assurance for unmanned ground vehicles. An example application is to defend against sensor spoofing (GPS spoofing) for both robots and advanced cars." As of February, 2014, the project has moved into Phase 2.
The second project ($6M over 5.5 years) includes chip design (CAD tools), signal processing, computer architecture, computing algorithms and code synthesis. “The main idea is to do hardware-software co-synthesis and low-power application-specific accelerators,” said Franchetti. “We target signal processing operations and irregular knowledge extraction algorithms (graph algorithms/sparse matrix algorithms) and show orders-of-magnitude gains over current machines in terms of performance and power efficiency.” Other ECE faculty involved include Larry Pileggi, James Hoe and Jose’ Moura. The project is getting close to its stop/go decision for Phase 2.