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The instruction of systolic array (ISA) and simulation of parallel algorithms

By Ossama K. Muslih


A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.Systolic arrays have proved to be well suited for Very Large\ud Scale Integrated technology (VLSI) since they:\ud - Consist of a regular network of simple processing cells,\ud - Use local communication between the processing cells only,\ud - Exploit a maximal degree of parallelism.\ud However, systolic arrays have one main disadvantage compared with\ud other parallel computer architectures: they are special purpose\ud architectures only capable of executing one algorithm, e.g., a\ud systolic array designed for sorting cannot be used to form matrix\ud multiplication.\ud Several approaches have been made to make systolic arrays more\ud flexible, in order to be able to handle different problems on a\ud single systolic array.\ud In this thesis an alternative concept to a VLSI-architecture\ud the Soft-Systolic Simulation System (SSSS), is introduced and\ud developed as a working model of virtual machine with the power to\ud simulate hard systolic arrays and more general forms of concurrency\ud such as the SIMD and MIMD models of computation.\ud The virtual machine includes a processing element consisting of\ud a soft-systolic processor implemented in the virtual.machine language.\ud The processing element considered here was a very general element\ud which allows the choice of a wide range of arithmetic and logical\ud operators and allows the simulation of a wide class of algorithms\ud but in principle extra processing cells can be added making a library\ud and this library be tailored to individual needs.\ud \ud The virtual machine chosen for this implementation is the\ud Instruction Systolic Array (ISA). The ISA has a number of interesting\ud features, firstly it has been used to simulate all SIMD algorithms\ud and many MIMD algorithms by a simple program transformation technique,\ud further, the ISA can also simulate the so-called wavefront processor\ud algorithms, as well as many hard systolic algorithms. The ISA removes\ud the need for the broadcasting of data which is a feature of SIMD\ud algorithms (limiting the size of the machine and its cycle time) and also presents a fairly simple communication structure for MIMD\ud algorithms.\ud The model of systolic computation developed from the VLSI\ud approach to systolic arrays is such that the processing surface is\ud fixed, as are the processing elements or cells by virtue of their\ud being embedded in the processing surface.\ud The VLSI approach therefore freezes instructions and hardware\ud relative to the movement of data with the virtual machine and softsystolic\ud programming retaining the constructions of VLSI for array\ud design features such as regularity, simplicity and local communication,\ud allowing the movement of instructions with respect to data. Data can\ud be frozen into the structure with instructions moving systolically.\ud Alternatively both the data and instructions can move systolically\ud around the virtual processors, (which are deemed fixed relative to\ud the underlying architecture).\ud The ISA is implemented in OCCAM programs whose execution and\ud output implicitly confirm the correctness of the design.\ud \ud The soft-systolic preparation comprises of the usual operating\ud system facilities for the creation and modification of files during\ud the development of new programs and ISA processor elements. We allow\ud any concurrent high level language to be used to model the softsystolic\ud program. Consequently the Replicating Instruction Systolic\ud Array Language (RI SAL) was devised to provide a very primitive program\ud environment to the ISA but adequate for testing. RI SAL accepts\ud instructions in an assembler-like form, but is fairly permissive\ud about the format of statements, subject of course to syntax.\ud The RI SAL compiler is adopted to transform the soft-systolic\ud program description (RISAL) into a form suitable for the virtual\ud machine (simulating the algorithm) to run.\ud Finally we conclude that the principles mentioned here can form\ud the basis for a soft-systolic simulator using an orthogonally\ud connected mesh of processors. The wide range of algorithms which the\ud ISA can simulate make it suitable for a virtual simulating grid

Publisher: © Ossama Kadom Muslih
Year: 1989
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