The ProFax project won the Xilinx Open Hardware Contest 2016

Remember the ProFax project that involved two students from the Politecnico di Milano? If you don’t, the ProFax project aim to achievement an improvement in performance and power consumption, using the new toolchain di Xilinx: SDAccel, through the board Alpha Data. 

Lorenzo e Giulia, with their project, won the Xilinx Open Hardware Contest 2016, in Student FPGA category.

Giulia e Lorenzo arrived at Dublin
Giulia e Lorenzo arrived at Dublin

Giulia has been appassionate bioinformatics after attending the computer course taugth by Prof. Domenico Marco Santambrogio, responsable of  NECSTlab at the Politecnico di Milano. Curiosity led her to know deeper about bioinformatics and then she proposed her idea to Prof Santambrogio, who decided to support her.
Her experience at the NECSTlab led her to add some informatics exams to her Biomedical Engineering course.

Lorenzo, however, was interested in the hardware architectures during his fourth year, also him at the Politecnico di Milano, while he attended the course of High Performance Processor and Systems. During that, he has taken part in a project concerning the hardware acceleration. He also straightened his knowledge about the subject during his internship of six months in the  Xilinx Research Laboratories (the company that invented the FPGA) in Dublin, Ireland, under the supervision of Dr. Michaela Blott.
Following the purpose of Giulia, he began to work with her on the implementation, which led to a publication during the RAW conference.

The Xilinx Open Hardware Design Contest offers to students the opportunity to show their technical skills and their creative talents; to enter the contest, any platform provided from the Xilinx can be used.

On 24 and 25 of August, Giulia and Lorenzo flew to Dublin, the European headquarters of the organizer, the Xilinx, for a final presentation of their work, as well as a DEMO and to attend the final award ceremony.

Giulia e Lorenzo with Kevin Cooney - Corporate Vice President & Managing Director EMEA & Global Chief Information Officer at Xilinx (from the left) e Patrick Lysaght - Senior Director at Xilinx
Giulia e Lorenzo with Kevin Cooney – Corporate Vice President & Managing Director EMEA & Global Chief Information Officer at Xilinx (from the left) e Patrick Lysaght – Senior Director at Xilinx


“It has been a great moment, we have been repaid of the hard work and the commitment of the last months.”

said the two winners

“Knowing that experts in the field valued so good our work made us very proud.

We would like to thank firstly our adviser, Marco D. Santambrogio, our colleagues and all the NECSTLab at Politecnico di Milano; support and collaboration should always be present in a work environment, where personal growth as a person, more than from a professional point of view, plays a key role. ”

Now, the two students has returned already at work to make improvements and optimizations, and to test some new possible roads; they plan also to develop other projects in the genomic scope, also using Xilinx technologies.



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