GPU4S: Embedded GPUs in Space – Latest Project Updates

by   Leonidas Kosmidis, et al.

Following the trend of other safety-critical industries like automotive and avionics, the space domain is witnessing an increase in the on-board computing performance demands. This raise in performance needs comes from both control and payload parts of the spacecraft and calls for advanced electronics systems able to provide high computational power under the constraints of the harsh space environment. On the non-technical side, for strategic reasons it is mandatory to get European independence on the used computing technology. In this project, we study the applicability of embedded GPUs in space, which have shown a dramatic improvement of their performance per-watt ratio coming from their proliferation in consumer markets based on competitive European technology. To that end, we perform an analysis of the existing space application domains to identify which software domains can benefit from their use. Moreover, we survey the embedded GPU domain in order to assess whether embedded GPUs can provide the required computational power and identify the challenges which need to be addressed for their adoption in space. In this paper, we describe the steps followed in the project, as well as a summary of results obtained from our analyses so far in the project.


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