Tsinghua Science and Technology


energy efficiency, customizable processor, stencil computation, software and hardware co-optimization


Energy efficiency is one of the most important issues for High Performance Computing (HPC) today. Heterogeneous HPC platform with some energy-efficient customizable cores (as application-specific accelerators) is believed as one of the promising solutions to meet ever-increasing computing needs and to overcome power density limitations. In this paper, we focus on using customizable processor cores to optimize the typical stencil computations — the kernel of many high-performance applications. We develop a series of effective software/hardware co-optimization strategies to exploit the instruction-level and memory-computation parallelism, as well as to decrease the energy consumption. These optimizations include loop tiling, prefetching, cache customization, Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD), and Direct Memory Access (DMA), as well as necessary ISA extensions. Detailed tests of power-efficiency are given to evaluate the effect of all these optimizations comprehensively. The results are impressive: the combination of these optimizations has improved the application performance by 341% while the energy consumption has been decreased by 35%; a preliminary comparison with X86, GPU, and FPGA platforms also showed that the design could achieve an order of magnitude higher performance efficiency. We believe this work can help understand sources of inefficiency in general-purpose chips and can be used as a beginning to customize an energy efficient CMP for further improvement.


Tsinghua University Press