GPU4SPACE : intensive calculations in orbit

(report 2015)

The Techno-GPU project responds to an embedded computing challenge. A GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) is a special type of multiprocessor that uses a large amount of small scalar processors each consuming very little power. Initially oriented towards graphic display, followed by high-performance computing, the GPU industry is now tackling applications dedicated to embedded systems and a new class of products is being developed. A first embedded GPU development kit was made available in March 2014 by NVIDIA, the world leader in this technology. It is based on a GPU integrated into a fully independent ARM type processor. With a record ratio of performance per watt, this new type of processor could benefit space missions for different applications, from attitude control to on-board data processing. The goal of this R&T program is to conduct qualification, integration and characterisation studies of these components, as soon as they are on the market, in order to be able to monitor their evolution and consider integrating them into future space missions.

Techno-GPU is in the prospective phase for a CubeSat in partnership between the Paris Diderot and USTH universities in Vietnam. Electronic components, tests and internships are supported through LESIA and ESEP.