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Two Industrial CASE (iCASE) Studentships Available!

The Institute for Computing Systems Architecture (ICSA) within the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and ARM Ltd., Cambridge, are offering two industrial CASE studentships in following areas:

1. GPU optimisation
1. Profile-directed parallelisation

Project Descriptions

1. GPU optimisation

GPUs were initially designed as dedicated hardware accelerators for a graphics pipeline. Since then, they have expanded their usage to a much wider class of application. GPUs are widely recognised as having the potential to deliver power efficient high performance. However, achieving this potential is difficult due to rapidly evolving architecture and the increasing diversity of applications.

This project will investigate compiler optimisation to improve the performance portability of GPUs. It will explore the impact optimisation has on existing OpenCL and graphics shader workloads as well as emerging applications from Computer Vision.

1. Profile-directed parallelisation

The aim of this applied research is to investigate how to improve parallelisation of sequential legacy applications using combined static and dynamic analyses and parallel patterns (also known as algorithmic skeletons). Existing parallelising compilers are built on the same,fundamentally flawed principle: Reliance on static analysis and focus on a single type of parallelism only.

 Unfortunately, this does not work in practice and state-of-the-art auto-parallelisers fail to detect parallelism or, even worse, result in performance degradation. This project proposes to explore a radically new approach to parallelisation, where we (a) exploit well-known parallel patterns exposing all levels and shapes of parallelism, and (b) use compiler-directed dynamic information to overcome static analyis limitations.

The exact details of each project are flexible depending on the candidate's interests and background.

Candidate Profile

We are looking for candidates to apply with a background in computer science/engineering, or related disciplines, ideally with strong theoretical foundations and excellent practical skills in compilers, parallel programming, C/C++/assembly programming and computer architecture.  Candidates should have or expected to achieve a degree (2:1 or above). Masters students or those with practical experience in research or industry are also encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will benefit from both academic and industrial training, have the opportunity to choose within scope study topics and gain a real working experience in a world leading processor design centre at ARM Ltd., Cambridge.

Funding This Studentship will cover all tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend at the EPSRC rate. Students receive funding for a full EPSRC studentship for 3.5 years (currently ~ £68,648) plus an additional 3.5k per annum

Research Partner: Institute for Computing Systems Architecture (ICSA) The Institute for Computing Systems Architecture (ICSA) is one of seven research institutes in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. It was founded in 1998, following the creation of Informatics. ICSA is primarily concerned with the architecture and engineering of future computing systems. Within its five research groups, ICSA covers topics which include: performance and scalability, innovative algorithms, architectures, compilers, languages, and protocols.

Industrial Partner: ARM Ltd.

 ARM Holdings is the world's leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier and as such is at the heart of the development of digital electronic products. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and employing over 2,000 people, ARM has offices around the world, including design centres in Taiwan, France, India, Sweden, and the US. The ARM business model involves the designing and licensing of IP rather than the manufacturing and selling of actual semiconductor chips. ARM licenses IP to a network of Partners, which includes the world's leading semiconductor and systems companies. These Partners utilise ARM IP designs to create and manufacture system-on-chip designs, paying ARM a license fee for the original IP and a royalty on every chip or wafer produced. In addition to processor IP, ARM provides a range of tools, physical and systems IP to enable optimised system-on-chip designs.  With the diversity of ARM IP and the broad ecosystem of supporting silicon and software for ARM based solutions, the world's leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) use ARM technology in a wide variety of applications ranging from mobile handsets and digital set top boxes to car braking systems and network routers. Today ARM technology is in use in 95% of smart phones, 80% of digital cameras, and 35% of all electronic devices.


Applicants are encouraged to contact Prof Michael O’Boyle ( or Dr Björn Franke ( for further information and an initial discussion.

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