The Potential of the Cell Processor for Scientific Computing

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The slowing pace of commodity microprocessor performance improvements combined with ever-increasing chip power demands has become of utmost concern to computational scientists. As a result, the high performance computing community is examining alternative architectures that address the limitations of modern cache-based designs. In this work, we examine the potential of the using the forth coming STI Cell processor as a building block for future high-end computing systems. Our work contains several novel contributions. We are the first to present quantitative Cell performance data on scientific kernels and show direct comparisons against leading superscalar (AMD Opteron), VLIW (IntelItanium2), and vector (Cray ... continued below

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Williams, Samuel; Shalf, John; Oliker, Leonid; Husbands, Parry; Kamil, Shoaib & Yelick, Katherine October 14, 2005.

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The slowing pace of commodity microprocessor performance improvements combined with ever-increasing chip power demands has become of utmost concern to computational scientists. As a result, the high performance computing community is examining alternative architectures that address the limitations of modern cache-based designs. In this work, we examine the potential of the using the forth coming STI Cell processor as a building block for future high-end computing systems. Our work contains several novel contributions. We are the first to present quantitative Cell performance data on scientific kernels and show direct comparisons against leading superscalar (AMD Opteron), VLIW (IntelItanium2), and vector (Cray X1) architectures. Since neither Cell hardware nor cycle-accurate simulators are currently publicly available, we develop both analytical models and simulators to predict kernel performance. Our work also explores the complexity of mapping several important scientific algorithms onto the Cells unique architecture. Additionally, we propose modest microarchitectural modifications that could significantly increase the efficiency of double-precision calculations. Overall results demonstrate the tremendous potential of the Cell architecture for scientific computations in terms of both raw performance and power efficiency.

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  • International Parallel&DistributedProcessing Symposium - 2006, Rhodes Island, Greece, April 25 - 29,2006

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  • Report No.: LBNL--59071
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 883789
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc892335

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 14, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 3:55 p.m.

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Williams, Samuel; Shalf, John; Oliker, Leonid; Husbands, Parry; Kamil, Shoaib & Yelick, Katherine. The Potential of the Cell Processor for Scientific Computing, article, October 14, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc892335/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.