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Evaluating multi-core platforms for HPC data-intensive kernels

Alexander S. van Amesfoort, Ana Lucia Varbanescu, Henk J. Sips, Rob V. van Nieuwpoort
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Proceedings of the 6th ACM conference on Computing frontiers, CF ’09

@conference{van2009evaluating,

   title={Evaluating multi-core platforms for HPC data-intensive kernels},

   author={van Amesfoort, A.S. and Varbanescu, A.L. and Sips, H.J. and van Nieuwpoort, R.V.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the 6th ACM conference on Computing frontiers},

   pages={207–216},

   year={2009},

   organization={ACM}

}

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Multi-core platforms have proven themselves able to accelerate numerous HPC applications. But programming data-intensive applications on such platforms is a hard, and not yet solved, problem. Not only do modern processors favor compute-intensive code, they also have diverse architectures and incompatible programming models. And even after making a difficult platform choice, extensive programming effort must be invested with an uncertain performance outcome. By taking the plunge on an irregular, data-intensive application, we present an evaluation of three platform types, namely the generic multi-core CPU, the STI Cell/B.E., and the GPU. We evaluate these platforms in terms of application performance, programming effort and cost. Although we do not select a clear winner, we do provide a list of guidelines to assist in platform choice and development of similar data-intensive applications.
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