The COSA Project

At the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics

The Project

Computing On SoC Architecture at INFN

COSA is a four-year project (2015-2018) funded by the Scientific Commission V of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). The main objective of the project is to investigate the performances, the total cost of ownership and the possibilities offered by computing systems based on commodity low power Systems on Chip (SoC). Computing performances will be measured running real life applications taken from the High Energy Physics (HEP) community belonging to the Institute.

The project is building and maintaining three clusters. One is located in Bologna (CNAF department) and will be composed of development boards powered by the state of the art low power SoCs running Linux. Another one, located in Rome (ROME1 department) exploits the last generation FPGAs to prototype low latency network connections between low power CPUs. The third cluster, located in the Padova department, is based on traditional, non-low-power, CPUs, accelerators and network connections. This cluster is used as a reference for the performance of the scientific applications run on the other two clusters.

Current Status

After four years of exciting work the project ended. See the Documents section to find references to talks and papers providing details about the project investigation and results.


Funding is provided to the project by INFN through its Fifth Scientific National Commission (CSN5). The project was approved as a two year project starting in January 2015 and then extended for other two years.