Position in Near-Memory Computing - Compiler optimizations and framework

Jointly supervised by Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronic Systems group, IBM RESEARCH GMBH, Switzerland, and ASTRON, The Dutch Institute for Radio Astronomy. The position is a research position that can be ...

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Den Dolech, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Jointly supervised by Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronic Systems group, IBM RESEARCH GMBH, Switzerland, and ASTRON, The Dutch Institute for Radio Astronomy. The position is a research position that can be used to work towards a PhD or a PDEng degree. A PDEng degree is a professional degree focused on system design and engineering of highly complex system. It prepares for an industrial career. See https://www.tue.nl/en/education/tue-graduate-school/ for more information about the degree programs.

Project Scope
The computing demands of processor systems are continuously increasing due to emerging application domains, like big-data and deep learning applications. E.g. the next generation radio telescope of ASTRON and others, called SKA (Square Kilometer Array, containing a huge set of telescopes), generates 10 times more traffic then the complete global internet today. In deep learning, many layers of neurons are used with up to billions of coefficients (i.e. weights to be learned), which have to be heavily accessed (for the learning and the classification steps). These applications not only require tremendous processing power, but have also huge data bandwith requirements. This results in memory, performance and energy bottlenecks. This is the area where NeMeCo wants to contribute. NeMeCo researches new ways of computing, which aim at solving these bottlenecks by keeping processing much closer to memory, having e.g. HW accelerators closely attached to memory.

The challenge
Design new generations of HPC systems that can keep up with the ever-growing data volumes, is that current technological trends prevent large amounts of data to be transferred at acceptable power dissipation costs. Reducing expensive data transfers by 'bringing computation closer to the data', also known as near-memory computing, has emerged as a very promising solution to address this scaling issue in HPC systems, in order to realize the Exascale computing systems that are required for handling future Big-data workloads. Near-memory computing, however, is still in its infancy. Many challenges have to be addressed before it can be established as an integral component of HPC systems. Challenges include:

  • Analysis of applications with big data workloads. This includes data and compute complexity, locality, parallelism, etc.
  • Study architecture solutions and propose new, near memory based, computing architectures.
  • Advanced mapping, algorithmic optimizations and code generation techniques E.g. to increase data locality and optimizing reuse, advanced loop transformations are needed (like tiling, loop interchange, fusion). In addition partitioning and parallelization, like vectorization is needed.
  • Run-time optimizations. At run-time application behavior may change, requiring run-time adaptation of e.g. its mapping, or of architectural settings.
  • Design Space Exploration: this includes modeling of these applications, modeling of proposed computing architecture solutions, and modeling of the mapping of applications on these computing architectures.
  • Build a real system, containing processing hardware and memory, tools, run-time system, and running applications. Typically building FPGA prototypes will first be realized.

  • The project
    The successful candidate will work on the project NeMeCo - Scaling Big-Data Processing into the Next Decade. NeMeCo is an ambitious Marie Sk³odowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorates (EID) Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme, which addresses several of the above challenges. In particular, NeMeCo is an interdisciplinary training and research project aimed at developing power-efficient HPC systems for Big-data processing based on the exploitation of near-memory computing capabilities, and, in this way, making the world a better place by enabling important innovations in, for example, healthcare, energy consumption, traffic congestion and safety.

    NeMeCo involves a three-partner network comprising the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, IBM Research GmbH in Switzerland, and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, ASTRON. These partners provide a unique combination of academic and industrial expertise of Big-data applications, compilers, memory and processor technology, and high-performance computer architecture.


    We are looking for exceptional and highly motivated candidates that have an MSc (or similar level qualification) in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science or a similar relevant program. We are searching for candidates that have very good analytic skills, very good programming skills, good knowledge and understanding of current computer architectures and memory hierarchies. In addition they should have good communication capabilities in English. You should be eager to push the state-of-the-art, and to animate your research output with working demonstrators and publications in top conferences and journals.

    Candidates can be of any nationality and are required to undertake transnational mobility according to Marie Curie mobility conditions; Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.


    The successful candidate will perform her/his main research activities in a paid role at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The research activities will be jointly supervised by mentors both at IBM and TU/e. The candidate will spend half his or her time at IBM Zurich and will have some periods as secondments at ASTRON.

    Our offer

    Outstanding training programme.
  • task-specific research skills awarded with 16 EC. (Simulation and verification tools, Novel NVM (Non Volatile Memory) technologies, Multi-Processor Systems and Modelling, OpenCL and GPU programming, etc).
  • generic research skills awarded with 4 EC. (Scientific communication, Managing scientific research, Open Innovation and End-to-End Innovation, etc)
  • transferable skills awarded with 4 EC. (Communicating ideas and insights, Career development, Management and leadership.

  • Employment

    The position is available immediately. We offer a full-time temporary appointment with a duration that may vary from 2 to 3.5 years, depending on the starting date and the degree program you wish to pursue. Salary will follow the Marie Curie rules.

  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university and a stimulating internationally renowned research environment;
  • an extensive package of fringe benefits (e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, the possibility of child care and excellent sports facilities);
  • On top of the normal conditions you will receive the Marie Curie benefits.

  • Additionele informatie

  • For more information about the project and any informal enquiries, please contact dr.ir. J. van Lunteren (jvl@zurich.ibm.com ), ir. J. van Dalfsen (J.v.Dalfsen@tue.nl ) or prof.dr. H. Corporaal (H.Corporaal@tue.nl ).
  • For information concerning employment conditions you can contact Mr. Paul Hulsen (p.h.w.hulsen@tue.nl )
  • More information on employment conditions can be found here: www.tue.nl/en/university/working-at-tue/working-conditions/ .

  • Application

    If interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page. You should upload the following:
  • a cover letter explaining your motivation, background and qualifications for the position;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications);
  • contact information of two references.
  • copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained.

  • Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.


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