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Utilizing Heterogeneity in Manycore Architectures for Streaming Applications

By Süleyman Savas


In the last decade, we have seen a transition from single-core to manycore in computer architectures due to performance requirements and limitations in power consumption and heat dissipation. The first manycores had homogeneous architectures consisting of a few identical cores. However, the applications, which are executed on these architectures, usually consist of several tasks requiring different hardware resources to be executed efficiently. Therefore, we believe that utilizing heterogeneity in manycores will increase the efficiency of the architectures in terms of performance and power consumption. However, development of heterogeneous architectures is more challenging and the transition from homogeneous to heterogeneous architectures will increase the difficulty of efficient software development due to the increased complexity of the architecture. In order to increase the efficiency of hardware and software development, new hardware design methods and software development tools are required. Additionally, there is a lack of knowledge on the performance of applications when executed on manycore architectures. The transition began with a shift from single-core architectures to homogeneous multicore architectures consisting of a few identical cores. It now continues with a shift from homogeneous architectures with identical cores to heterogeneous architectures with different types of cores specialized for different purposes. However, this transition has increased the complexity of architectures and hence the complexity of software development and execution. In order to decrease the complexity of software development, new software tools are required. Additionally, there is a lack of knowledge on what kind of heterogeneous manycore design is most efficient for different applications and what are the performances of these applications when executed on current commercial manycores. This thesis studies manycore architectures in order to reveal possible uses of heterogeneity in manycores and facilitate choice of architecture for software and hardware developers. It defines a taxonomy for manycore architectures that is based on the levels of heterogeneity they contain and discusses benefits and drawbacks of these levels. Additionally, it evaluates several applications, a dataflow language (CAL), a source-to-source compilation framework (Cal2Many), and a commercial manycore architecture (Epiphany). The compilation framework takes implementations written in the dataflow language as input and generates code targetting different manycore platforms. Based on these evaluations, the thesis identifies the bottlenecks of the architecture. It finally presents a methodology for developing heterogeneoeus manycore architectures which target specific application domains. Our studies show that using different types of cores in manycore architectures has the potential to increase the performance of streaming applications. If we add specialized hardware blocks to a core, the performance easily increases by 15x for the target application while the core size increases by 40-50% which can be optimized further. Other results prove that dataflow languages, together with software development tools, decrease software development efforts significantly (25-50%) while having a small impact (2-17%) on the performance.HiPEC (High Performance Embedded Computing)NGES (Towards Next Generation Embedded Systems: Utilizing Parallelism and Reconfigurability

Topics: Manycores, parallel architectures, parallelism, streaming applications, dataflow, manycore design, heterogeneous manycores, Computer Systems, Datorsystem
Publisher: Halmstad
Year: 2017
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