Jeffrey Eastlack - Freescale Semiconductor
Multimedia and Applications Processor Division
Speaking Topic: FireAnt – Cell phone virtual supercomputer
Jeff Eastlack joined Freescale Semiconductor as a product engineer in 2006 with the wireless and mobile systems group. He is currently a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering at New Mexico State University, and also attends the University of Texas at Austin. His technical interests include distributed computing, microprocessor architecture, VLSI circuit design, low power architectures, system level board design, and embedded Linux devices.
For the past few years marketplace forces of mobile handheld computing are causing convergence of devices into a single do-everything mobile solution. The semiconductor industry is responding to customer demand for high performance and highly connected low power systems on a chip (SOC). Semiconductor performance advancements consistent with Moore’s Law and the increasing ubiquity of convergent mobile devices, is resulting in the generation of a colossal pool of untapped computing resources. In 2007 the worldwide number of cell phone subscribers reached over 3 billion in addition to nearly half a billion portable media players (PMP). This creates a prospective need for a mobile device tailored client version of a middleware platform for grid computing as a resource aggregator. This discussion highlights a project called FireAnt which successfully ported the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) middleware client to run on a mobile ARM compiled Linux platform. BOINC middleware enables the consolidated pooling of resources for scientific computing across a worldwide geographical area while utilizing a heterogeneous mix of computing platforms. This discussion includes how mobile computing could significantly impact the arena of volunteer computing and what costs and limitations exist.