Pekka is currently spending the last weeks of his research visit in Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, funded by his Academy of Finland’s (AoF) postdoctoral grant. In TUT’s Pervasive Computing lab, he is responsible for conducting research related to his AoF project and overseeing the daily activities of the Customized Parallel Computing (CPC) and the Virtual reality and Graphics Architectures (VGA) groups.
His AoF project has an ambitious goal of making FPGAs a feasible opaque acceleration platform in the cloud setting for software developers. The “holy grail” the project is aiming for is to let existing C/C++ programs originally targeting CPUs or GPUs benefit from FPGA acceleration without requiring long synthesis times, source code modifications, nor hardware engineering expertise.
Another CPC group’s topic of his interest is making programmable processors as energy efficient as fixed function accelerators. He believes that in heavily customized processor datapaths it boils down to developing new hardware and software techniques for minimizing the instruction stream energy consumption.
VGA group was initially formed as a means to apply the long term expertise and technologies developed in CPC with a concrete goal to develop a new programmable graphics processor for pervasive mixed reality applications of the future. Pekka is now extremely glad to see the bright VGA team producing world class contributions in real time realistic graphics rendering related hardware and software techniques, and he is learning something new about graphics every day from the group’s experts.
The story of how Pekka ended up working with computers is the typical “geek’s favourite hobby converted to a job”. During his teenage years in the early 1990s he got bored with only playing games with his first own PC (with an Intel 386sx based CPU) and started
to learn programming. He also got strange “kicks” from inspecting his program binaries with a debugger and making small logical changes to them using a hex editor. This somewhat weird hobby of his taught him how his programs interact with the processor, probably forming the ground to his later specialization in topics related to the
While he is claimed by some to be a bit of a workaholic, he does have some spare time which he likes to spend on staying fit by exercising regularly (gym, badminton, jogging, cross country skiing, biking trips…). On nice summer days he also enjoys rounds of disc golf. To relax at home, he likes to watch good movies&TV and read fiction and non-fiction books. Also in the past years he has again picked up another favourite hobby from his teen-years; guitar playing.