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Division of Computing and Communication Foundations

NSF/Intel Partnership on Computer Assisted Programming for Heterogeneous Architectures  (CAPA)

Name Email Phone Room
Nina  Amla (703) 292-7991   
Anindya  Banerjee (703) 292-7885   
Sol  Greenspan (703) 292-8910   
Tatiana  Shpeisman (408) 765-0172   
Justin  Gottschlich (408) 765-3783   
Shalom  Goldenberg (971) 258-6941   


Solicitation  16-606

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




An emerging trend in hardware platforms is that of architectural heterogeneity. While modern central processing units (CPUs) provide a flexible set of hardware resources and rich instruction sets for implementing a broad spectrum of compute tasks, specialized workloads have motivated the introduction of alternative hardware architectures to accelerate operations using specialized circuit design and additional parallelism. Some examples of such hardware include graphical processing units (GPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), programmable accelerators, and customizable field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Meanwhile, CPU designs have grown in diversity also, with considerable variation in number of cores, memory hierarchy, core organization, inter-core communication, and vector instruction sets. The trend toward data centers as a new computing platform adds even more complexity. Target architectures now can include thousands of geographically distributed computing elements, varying communication speeds, complex storage hierarchies, and a diverse set of underlying hardware platforms.

Software development is now transitioning from a specialized practice by a small number of experts to an everyday skill for a broad spectrum of non-specialists. But at the same time, the increasing complexity and diversity of programming models and hardware platforms requires specialized knowledge to develop and maintain efficient software solutions.  The result is a widening gap between programmers with general skills and specialized knowledge required to effectively utilize today’s heterogeneous hardware platforms. Many platform types fail to be utilized to their full potential, and the performance and energy efficiency gains needed to solve the next frontier of computing challenges fail to be realized. To efficiently utilize the computing power of future computer architectures without specialized expertise will require a transformational leap in software development methodologies.

The NSF/Intel Partnership on Computer Assisted Programming for Heterogeneous Architectures (CAPA) aims to address the problem of effective software development for diverse hardware architectures through groundbreaking university research that will lead to a significant, measurable leap in software development productivity by partially or fully automating software development tasks that are currently performed by humans. The main research objectives for CAPA include programmer effectiveness, performance portability, and performance predictability. In order to address these objectives, CAPA seeks research proposals that explore (1) programming abstractions and/or methodologies that separate performance-related aspects of program design from how they are implemented; (2) program synthesis and machine learning approaches for automatic software construction that are demonstrably correct; (3) advanced hardware-based cost models and abstractions to support multi-target code generation and performance predictability for specified heterogeneous hardware architectures; and (4) integration of research results into principled software development practices.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program