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Integrated execution: A programming model for accelerators

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1 Author(s)
M. Gschwind ; IBM Systems and Technology Group, 2455 South Road, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, USA

The Cell Broadband Engine® (Cell/B.E.) processor was designed to provide a mix of central cores for control code and accelerators optimized for data processing. A heterogeneous design allows different processor elements to be optimized for specific functions and makes each processor element more area and power efficient. Cell/B.E. processor-based systems are the most powerful and the most power-efficient systems in the world, as represented by the Top500™ and Green500 lists. This paper offers a new view of the architectural design choices that were made in consideration of software usability and application development for the Cell/B.E. processor. Specifically, we explore the concept of integrated executables that allow a single application to execute across multiple heterogeneous processor elements. Hardware and software architectures were co-optimized to allow an application executing on multiple heterogeneous cores to efficiently communicate and share data, which is key to exploiting chip multiprocessors with ever-increasing numbers of cores.

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 Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 5 )