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MPI microtask for programming the Cell Broadband Engine™ processor

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5 Author(s)
Ohara, M. ; IBM Research Division, Tokyo Research Laboratory, 1623-14, Shimotsuruma, Yamatoshi, Kanagawa-ken, 242-8502, Japan ; Inoue, H. ; Sohda, Y. ; Komatsu, H.
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The Cell Broadband Engine™ processor employs multiple accelerators, called synergistic processing elements (SPEs), for high performance. Each SPE has a high-speed local store attached to the main memory through direct memory access (DMA), but a drawback of this design is that the local store is not large enough for the entire application code or data. It must be decomposed into pieces small enough to fit into local memory, and they must be replaced through the DMA without losing the performance gain of multiple SPEs. We propose a new programming model, MPI microtask, based on the standard Message Passing Interface (MPI) programming model for distributed-memory parallel machines. In our new model, programmers do not need to manage the local store as long as they partition their application into a collection of small microtasks that fit into the local store. Furthermore, the preprocessor and runtime in our microtask system optimize the execution of microtasks by exploiting explicit communications in the MPI model. We have created a prototype that includes a novel static scheduler for such optimizations. Our initial experiments have shown some encouraging results.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 1 )