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Multi-core processors are a shift of paradigm in computer architecture that promises a dramatic increase in performance. But multi-core processors also bring an unprecedented level of complexity in algorithmic design and software development. In this paper we describe the challenges and design choices involved in parallelizing a breadth-first search (BFS) algorithm on a state-of-the-art multi-core processor, the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell BE). Our experiments obtained on a pre-production Cell BE board running at 3.2 GHz show almost linear speedups when using multiple synergistic processing units, and an impressive level of performance when compared to other processors. The Cell BE is typically an order of magnitude faster than conventional processors, such as the AMD Opteron and the Intel Pentium 4 and Woodcrest, an order of magnitude faster than the MTA-2 multi-threaded processor, and two orders of magnitude faster than a BlueGene/L processor.
Date of Conference: 26-30 March 2007