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Important Dates

Conference: May 7-11, 2012
Reg. Registration Ends: April 20, 2012
Late Registration: April 21 to May 11

High Performance Computing: Embedded and Distributed Systems


This tutorial has been cancelled.
It will not be available at Radarcon 2012.

Date: May 11, 2011
Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Instructor: Dave Martinez , Robert Bond , Mankuan Vai

Tutorial Code: T-08


In the last several years, there has been significant emphasis on advancing processing to most effectively convert data into knowledge. This tutorial presents an overview of applications demanding real-time embedded and distributed computing, an introduction to hardware and software implementation techniques, recent advances in hardware and software standards to achieve rapid technology insertion, and a look into observed computing trends.

Network-centric warfare implies leveraging information from multiple assets in-theater. However, communicating sensor data without significant processing on board the sensor platform would completely clog the available and future communication bandwidth. The complexity of sensors, with data rates exceeding hundreds of billion bytes per second (driven by analog-to-digital converter sampling rates), leads to massive amounts of data. Therefore, on-board computation is necessary to reduce data rates and to transform sensor data into information. This information from ground, air, and space assets will then be routed across the theater and globally to permit extracting the requisite knowledge needed by our warfighters. The tutorial focuses on the embedded and distributed real-time computing to transform data into actionable knowledge.

The tutorial will start by reviewing example applications demanding significant computing capabilities. These applications will highlight typical computation, communication, and memory requirements, constrained to implementations with stressing low size, weight, and power goals. After setting the application domain and on-board complexity drivers, implementation options are reviewed. The options range from application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), digital signal processors (DSPs), and general purpose processors. The tutorial concludes with an introduction to embedded software practices and techniques. Particular emphasis is put on emerging software middleware standards and open system architectures for real-time systems. The tutorial will also cover the emerging challenges and approaches for adapting sensors to operate in a network-centric context. Examples of enterprise architectures leveraging commercial advances in cloud computing will be presented.

This tutorial is designed for system designers, algorithm developers, hardware and software designers, and program managers interested in an overview and introduction to real-time embedded and distributed computing. The tutorial content will also address emerging trends in hardware, software, and rapid prototyping techniques. The tutorial draws from the authors’ over fifty years of combined experience in these areas.

“This work is sponsored by the Department of Defense under Air Force Contract FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.”

Individuals wishing to familiarize themselves with the topics in this tutorial beforehand may wish to purchase the instructors own text on High Performance Embedded Computing.

Instructor Biography

PhotoMail Mr. David Martinez is Principal Laboratory Researcher in the Communication Systems and Cyber Security Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In this capacity, he is focusing in the technical and programmatic developments in the fast growing area of cyber security, information systems, and enterprise architectures.

Prior to rejoining MIT/LL in May, 2011, Mr. David Martinez was the President and Chairman of Mercury Federal Systems. He was responsible for the company’s operations and strategic directions. The main company’s focus was on open system solutions and services for demanding Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) problems.

Mr. Martinez spent 22 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He led the ISR Systems and Technology Division. During this tenure, he had direct line management responsibility for the Division’s programs in the development of advanced techniques and prototypes.

From 1979 through 1988, he was Principal Research Engineer at ARCO Oil and Gas Company responsible for a multidisciplinary company project to demonstrate the viability of real-time adaptive signal processing techniques. He received the ARCO special achievement award for the planning and execution of the 1986 Cuyama Project, which provided a superior and cost-effective approach to 3-D seismic surveys. He holds three U.S. patents.

Mr. Martinez received his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in 1976, and his M.S. degree from MIT, and the E.E. degree jointly from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1979. He completed an M.B.A. from the Southern Methodist University in 1986. He attended the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was elected IEEE Fellow in 2003. He was awarded the Eminent Engineer Award in 2008 from the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University.

He was appointed to serve in the Army Science Board from 1999 to 2004. Mr. Martinez was a member of MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Steering Committee from 1999 to 2010. In 2007-2008, he served in the Defense Science Board ISR Task Force. He co-authored the book titled: “High Performance Embedded Computing, A Systems Perspective,” CRC, 2008.

PhotoMail Robert Bond is an Assistant Division Head in the ISR and Tactical Systems Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In his career, Mr. Bond has focused on the research and development of high-performance embedded signal and image processors and algorithms. He has led research initiatives in a wide range of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) computing technologies spanning custom VLSI circuits, parallel processors, non-linear signal processing, graph detection theory, and parallel processing middleware. Prior to coming to Lincoln Laboratory, he worked at CAE Ltd. on flight simulators and then at Sperry where he developed Naval command and control applications. Mr. Bond joined Lincoln Laboratory in 1987. In his first assignment, he was responsible for the development of the Mountaintop RSTER radar software architecture and later led the radar system integration. In the early 1990s, he conducted seminal studies to evaluate the use of massively parallel processors (MPP) for real-time signal and image processing. Later, he led the development of 1000-processor MPP for radar space-time adaptive processing and a custom VLSI processor for high-throughput radar signal processing. In 2001, he led a team in the development of the Parallel Vector Library, a novel middleware technology for portable and scalable high-performance parallel signal processors. In 2003 he was one of two researchers to receive the Lincoln Laboratory Technical Excellence Award for his “technical vision and leadership in the application of high-performance embedded processing architectures to real-time digital signal processing systems.” Recently, Mr. Bond has been involved in research into complex systems, open systems architectures, cloud and grid computing, graph and network based algorithms, and advanced computing technologies. He earned a B.S. degree (honors) in physics from Queen's University, Ontario, Canada in 1978

PhotoMail Dr. M. Michael Vai has worked in the area of high performance embedded computing for over 20 years. Dr. Vai has worked and published extensively in very large scale integration (VLSI), application specific integrated circuits (ASIC), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), design methodology, and embedded digital systems. He has published 60+ technical papers and a 405 page book (VLSI Design, CRC Press, 2001).

Dr. Vai received his B.S. degree from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, in 1979, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 and 1987, respectively, all in electrical engineering.

Until July 1999, Dr. Vai was on the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. At Northeastern University, he developed and taught the VLSI Design and VLSI Architecture courses. He also established and supervised a VLSI CAD Laboratory. In May 1999, the Electrical and Computer Engineering students presented him with the Outstanding Professor Award. During Dr. Vai’s tenure at Northeastern University, he performed research programs funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and industry.

Dr. Vai joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1999 and is currently Assistant Group Leader of the Embedded and High Performance Computing Group. He has led the development of several notable real-time signal processing systems incorporating high-density VLSI chips and FPGAs. In Spring 2002, Dr. Vai coordinated and taught a VLSI Design course at Lincoln Laboratory. In April 2003, he delivered a lecture “ASIC and FPGA DSP Implementations” in the IEEE lecture series “Current Topics in Digital Signal Processing.”

Dr. Vai’s current research interests include advanced signal processing algorithms and architectures, rapid prototyping methodologies, and anti-tampering techniques. Dr. Vai is a senior member of IEEE.