General Presentation

Team presentation

The Cairn project-team researches new architectures, algorithms and design methods for flexible and energy efficiency domain-specific system-on-chip (SoC). As performance and energy-efficiency requirements of SoCs are continuously increasing, they become difficult to fulfil using only programmable processors solutions. To address this issue, we promote/advocate the use of reconfigurable hardware, i.e. hardware structures whose organization may change before or even during execution. Such reconfigurable SoCs offer high performance at a low energy cost, while preserving a high level of flexibility. The group studies these SoCs from three angles: (i) The invention and design of new reconfigurable platforms with an emphasis on flexible arithmetic operator design, dynamic reconfiguration management and low- power consumption. (ii) The development of their corresponding design flows (compilation and synthesis tools) to enable their automatic design from high-level specifications. (iii) The interaction between algorithms and architectures especially for our main application domains (wireless communications, wireless sensor networks and digital security). The team has been created in 2008 and is a “reconfiguration” of the former R2D2 research team from Irisa.

Research themes

International and industrial relations

Members of CAIRN team are involved in several national or international projects:

  • Labex CominLabs BoWI: Body World Interaction (2012-2015)
  • Equipex FIT: Future Internet of Things, Cognitive Radio Tesbed (2011-2014)
  • FP7 FlexTiles: Self adaptive heterogeneous manycore based on Flexible Tiles (2011-2014)
  • FP7 Alma: Architecture oriented paraLlelization for high performance embedded Multicore systems using scilAb (2011-2014)
  • ANR PAVOIS: Arithmetic Protections Against Physical Attacks for Elliptic Curve based Cryptography (2012-2016)
  • ANR ARDYT: Reliable and Reconfigurable Dynamic Architecture (2011-2014)
  • ANR DEFIS: Design of fixed-point embedded systems (2011-2014)
  • ANR Compa: Conception Orientée Modèle de calcul pour multi-Processeurs Adaptables (2011-2014)
  • ANR FAON: Frequency based Access Optical Networks (2011-2014)
  • ANR Greco: GREen wireless Communicating Objects (2010-2013)
  • ANR Ocelot: prototype d’oscilloscope de constellations à base d’échantillonnage linéaire tout optique (2011-2014)
  • FUI 100Gflex: multiband optical OFDM at very-high rates (up to 100 Gbits/s) (2010-2013)
  • CNRS PICS project SPiNaCH (Secure and low-Power sensor Networks Circuits for Healthcare embedded applications)

The CAIRN team has currently some collaboration with the following laboratories, universities or research institutes:

  • Europe
    • University College Cork, Ireland, code and cryptography group
    • Imec, Belgium on scenario-based fixed-point data format refinement to enable energy-scalable of Software Defined Radios (SDR)
    • University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, CoDesign on massively parallel embedded reconfigurable architectures and on dynamic reconfiguration optimisation in the mesh fabric
    • Lund University, Sweden on constraints programming approach application in the reconfigurable data-paths synthesis flow
    • University of Girona, Spain, Computer Vision and Robotic Group, Institute for Informatics and Applications on parallel architectures for vision algorithms applied to underwater robot
    • University of Eindhoven, Netherlands on reconfigurable data-path synthesis
    • University of Leiden, Netherlands on parallel architecture synthesis
  • World
    • University of Massachusetts, USA, VLSI CAD Lab 
    • University of Adelaide, Australia, CHiPTec 
    • Laval University, Québec, Canada, LRTS laboratory on architectures for MIMO systems
    • Québec University, Trois-Rivières, Canada, LSSI laboratory, on architectures for digital filters and mobile communications
    • Colorado State University, Fort-Collins, USA, in the context of the Equipe Associée INRIA LRS.
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA on optimised application specific reconfigurable architectures design
    • University of Queensland, Australia on reconfigurable architectures for scientific processing
    • University of California, Riverside, USA on optimized image processing applications synthesis

Members of CAIRN team have collaboration with large companies or SMEs like STmicroelectronics, Technicolor, Alcatel-Lucent, Orange Labs, Thales, Atmel, Xilinx, Phillips, Infineon, InPixal, Envivio, R-interface, Sensaris, Ditocom, Sestream.