Next Generation Computing and Communication Platforms


Computers are present in every fabric of our daily lives. Yet changes are evident at every level: the content of our interactions with computers, evolving from answers to computational problems to interactions through social networks, to the way we interact with computers, is shifting from letters and numbers to gestures, images, sounds, and movies. But the future is changing even more dramatically. Interactions with computers will be enhanced by virtual and augmented reality to feel like human-to-human interaction, based on artificial intelligence methods. We expect even further that systems will not only passively observe the physical environment, but continuously interact with the physical world to actively control it. Prime examples are advanced driver assistance systems, semi-autonomous driving and medical artificial intelligence. Today, there is a need for secure systems. Tomorrow's systems must go even one step further: Humans must be able to trust them, which means their control of the physical world must be within safe limits, do no harm, and keep data private where appropriate. To contain the data flood of the coming Internet of Things, we need to develop intelligent local data processing on decentralized devices that minimizes high energy consumption. This may well require moving away from traditional Von Neumann architectures and rethinking device technology.

RWTH Aachen University already has several ongoing large-scale projects on research priorities in the area: hardware and software design technologies, invention of novel computer architectures, security and reliability, and connectivity and communication beyond 5G. In the area of hardware and software design technologies, the spin-off company Silexica of RWTH Aachen University develops multi-core programming tools. Specifically in the field of neuromorphic computing, there is already a project called NeuroTec. NeuroTec is a Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF for short) project in collaboration with the Jülich Research Center. The NRG 5 project aims to contribute to the 5G PPP/5G initiative by providing novel compliant, decentralized, secure and resilient frameworks. The ultimate project goal is to make the deployment, operation and management of existing and new communication and energy infrastructures simpler, safer and more resilient from an operational and financial perspective. An ideal complement to the NeuroTec research is also the approval of the future cluster NeuroSys promoted within the project "Clusters4Future" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The aim of the NeuroSys project is to develop and exploit resource-efficient neuromorphic hardware for use in artificial intelligence.