To achieve the CONVOLVE objectives, a 36-month work plan has been carefully designed based on seven strongly interrelated technical and two non-technical work packages (WPs)
WP1: Use case and application requirements, metrics, and baseline establishes the edge application use cases. They set the requirements needed for smart edge processors, their metrics, and the baseline to benchmark against. After the first point demos, use case owners will tune their targets and prioritise the topics for the technical work packages following an application-centred approach.
WP2: Self-configurable modular ULP accelerator blocks focuses on the development of the key components and blocks of the targeted accelerators. Focus will be done not only on low power design aspects to contribute to 100x+ energy efficiency improvement, but also on dynamic configurability (to adapt the accelerators depending on the needs), modularity (to speed-up the design process), and self-healing (to deal with the non-idealities of hardware).
WP3: Composable Real-Time and Hardware Security aims at providing hardware security against known attacks and real-time guarantees by compositional Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) and a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). Design for security mechanism will be developed and integrated in the targeted accelerators while maintaining the low power and real-time properties.
WP4: Algorithmic principles for ultra-low power neural network (NN) processing focuses on new algorithms and models for ULP Neural Networks (NN). This is done by examining leading-edge strategies, such as dynamic NNs and new online learning techniques, applicable for the edge. This is applied to artificial deep networks (ANNs) and to the less well understood, but more energy–efficient spiking networks (SNNs).
WP5: Transparent and compositional programming flow targets transparent and compositional programming flow to realize an effective heterogenous ULP many accelerator SOC. This is done by developing a modular compiler to generate high-performance and secure code for the rapidly evolving matrix of applications and many-accelerator hardware.
WP6: Compositional architecture DSE and SoC generation deals with automated compositional system architecture design space exploration (DSE) and SoC generation. This is done by providing secure and modular architecture templates consisting of a RISC-V host with one or multiple ML and security accelerators.
WP7: Application mapping, benchmarking, and integrated demos will map the use cases from WP1 on the targeted ULP SoC simulator, as defined in WP6, then it will take all the final point demos and generates an integrated demo in silicon. It will analyse the market gap and the actions that need to be taken to bring that prototype to the market.
WP8: Dissemination, Communication & Exploitation of results defines the disseminations and exploitation plans. It monitors whether the right actions are taken in time. In addition, WP8 creates all the dissemination material, including open-source contributions and communication strategy. It oversees building the community around CONVOLVE and ensure the pathway to impact through e.g., having a dedicated “Impact Manager”.
WP9: Project Management ensures that CONVOLVE runs smoothly, that its risks are mitigated and the correct reporting towards the EC. At the same time, WP9 will oversee the internal communication and will organize the Advisory Board meetings.