Computers require an increasing amount of processing power to ensure that demanding programs run smoothly. Current technology will not be able to keep up for long, and a new concept is needed in the long term: Together with their partners in the SFB/Transregio 89 collaborative project “Invasive Computing”, computer scientists at Friederich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) are currently developing a method to distribute processing power to programmes based on their needs which will enable computers to cope with future processing requirements.
Everyone will be familiar with playing a video on their computer that keeps pausing every few seconds and just won’t buffer properly. These stops and starts are due to the operating system architecture and other applications running in the background.
In today’s multi-core processors, operating systems distribute processing time and resources (e.g. memory) to applications without accurate information regarding actual requirements. That is to say, processors run multiple tasks at once, and that in turn means there is competition for shared resources. This can cause unpredictable delays and frequent short interruptions, as is the case with jerky videos.
As processing power requirements increase, multi-core process technology is reaching its limits. While it may be feasible to keep integrating more and more cores, even up to several hundred, this is inefficient, since it increases competition while slowing down processing speed overall. Knowing what the application needs would enable a better distribution of resources.
Transregio 89 is a collaborative research project in which FAU researchers under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Teich are searching for solutions to the problem. The approach: Operating systems should not distribute resources such as processing power to programs solely based on their own strategies. Instead, programs should be able to provide a framework for the use of resources.
The programs are analysed in advance, and the performance requirements thus determined are shared with the operating system, which in turn ensures that resources are properly allocated. A video could thus for instance request four cores, which would then be reserved for playback during its run-time.
“This new system architecture helps prevent the operating system from making wrong decisions and guarantees the necessary processing power,” says Prof. Dr Wolfgang Schröder-Preikschat from the Chair of Distributed Systems and Operating Systems at FAU.
IT security: old risks in new guise
The new approach also raises new challenges with regard to IT security. Indeed, when programs can claim resources unhindered, it becomes easy for malware to paralyse a given system as it can monopolise all the resources for itself, and delete or overwrite the memory of other programs in a scenario that could be compared with “Core Wars”, a computer game in which programs compete for the memory of a simple computer.
The program which succeeds in wiping out the other program through excessive resource usage wins.To avoid this, IT security experts from FAU and KU Leuven are currently working on a SFB 89 sub-project to develop appropriate countermeasures providing enhanced security mechanisms built into the processor hardware.
“We ensure the confidentiality of code and data through all storage levels, even if a program uses more resources than required or when it reads from the memory of other programs,” adds Prof. Dr. Felix Freiling from the IT Security group at FAU.
The computer scientists are confident that their approach has great potential and will give computers the ability to safely provide the necessary processing speed in the future.
Transregio 89 is a transregional collaborative research centre funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) which involves scientists from FAU, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Technical University of Munich. For further information on the research of SFB/Transregio 89, please visit the website: http://invasic.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/en/index.php
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Teich
Phone: +49 9131 85 25150
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schröder-Preikschat
Phone: +49 9131 85 27278
Prof. Dr. Felix Freiling
Phone: +49 9131 85 69901
Dr. Susanne Langer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences