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A Unified Runtime System for Heterogeneous Multi-core Architectures

Cedric Augonnet, Raymond Namyst
INRIA Bordeaux, LaBRI, Universite Bordeaux 1, 351, cours de la Liberation, F-33405 TALENCE, France
In Euro-Par 2008 Wokshops (HPPC’08), Vol. 5415 (2009), pp. 174-183.

@conference{augonnet2009unified,

   title={A Unified Runtime System for Heterogeneous Multi-core Architectures},

   author={Augonnet, C. and Namyst, R.},

   booktitle={Euro-Par 2008 Workshops-Parallel Processing},

   pages={174–183},

   year={2009},

   organization={Springer}

}

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Approaching the theoretical performance of heterogeneous multicore architectures, equipped with specialized accelerators, is a challenging issue. Unlike regular CPUs that can transparently access the whole global memory address range, accelerators usually embed local memory on which they perform all their computations using a specific instruction set. While many research efforts have been devoted to offloading parts of a program over such coprocessors, the real challenge is to find a programming model providing a unified view of all available computing units. In this paper, we present an original runtime system providing a high-level, unified execution model allowing seamless execution of tasks over the underlying heterogeneous hardware. The runtime is based on a hierarchical memory management facility and on a codelet scheduler. We demonstrate the efficiency of our solution with a LU decomposition for both homogeneous (3.8 speedup on 4 cores) and heterogeneous machines (95% efficiency). We also show that a “granularity aware” scheduling can improve execution time by 35%.
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