Reducing the energy cost of irregular code bases in soft processor systems

Manish Arora, Jack Sampson, Nathan Goulding-Hotta, Jonathan Babb, Ganesh Venkatesh, Michael Bedford Taylor, Steven Swanson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes an architecture and FPGA synthesis tool chain for building specialized, energy-saving coprocessors called Irregular Code Energy Reducers (ICERs) for a wide range of unmodified C programs. FPGAs are increasingly used to build large-scale systems, and many large software systems contain relatively little code that is amenable to automatic, semi-automatic, or even manual parallelization. Whereas accelerator approaches have traditionally achieved energy benefits as a side effect from increasing performance via parallel execution, ICERs aim to achieve energy gains even on code with little exploitable parallelism. Traditional approaches to automatically generating accelerators from existing software rely on inferring parallel execution from serial code, so they face the same code analysis challenges as parallelizing compilers. In contrast, because the ICER approach targets energy rather than performance, it easily scales to large, irregular applications that are poor candidates for traditional acceleration. Our results show that, compared to a baseline system with soft processor cores, ICERs can reduce energy consumption by up to 9.5x for the code they target and 2.8x for whole applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, FCCM 2011
Pages210-213
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 17 2011
Event19th IEEE International Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, FCCM 2011 - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: May 1 2011May 3 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, FCCM 2011

Other

Other19th IEEE International Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, FCCM 2011
CountryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT
Period5/1/115/3/11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture

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