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Publication details for Dr Alastair Basden

Jenkins, David R., Basden, Alastair & Myers, Richard M. (2018). ELT-scale adaptive optics real-time control with the Intel Xeon Phi Many Integrated Core Architecture. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 478(3): 3149-3158.

Author(s) from Durham


We propose a solution to the increased computational demands of Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) scale adaptive optics (AO) real-time control with the Intel Xeon Phi Knights Landing (KNL) Many Integrated Core (MIC) Architecture. The computational demands of an AO real-time controller (RTC) scale with the fourth power of telescope diameter and so the next generation ELTs require orders of magnitude more processing power for the RTC pipeline than existing systems. The Xeon Phi contains a large number (≥64) of low-power x86 CPU cores and high-bandwidth memory integrated into a single socketed server CPU package. The increased parallelism and memory bandwidth are crucial to providing the performance for reconstructing wavefronts with the required precision for ELT scale AO. Here, we demonstrate that the Xeon Phi KNL is capable of performing ELT scale single conjugate AO real-time control computation at over 1.0 kHz with less than 20 μs RMS jitter. We have also shown that with a wavefront sensor camera attached the KNL can process the real-time control loop at up to 966 Hz, the maximum frame-rate of the camera, with jitter remaining below 20 μs RMS. Future studies will involve exploring the use of a cluster of Xeon Phis for the real-time control of the MCAO and MOAO regimes of AO. We find that the Xeon Phi is highly suitable for ELT AO real time control.