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An experimental study on performance portability of OpenCL kernels

Sean Rul, Hans Vandierendonck, Joris D’Haene and Koen De Bosschere
Ghent University, Dept. of Electronics and Information Systems, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Symposium on Application Accelerators in High Performance Computing, 2010

@conference{rul2010experimental,

   title={An experimental study on performance portability of OpenCL kernels},

   author={Rul, S. and Vandierendonck, H. and D’Haene, J. and De Bosschere, K.},

   booktitle={Application Accelerators in High Performance Computing, 2010 Symposium, Papers},

   year={2010}

}

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Accelerator processors allow energy-efficient computation at high performance, especially for computationintensive applications. There exists a plethora of different accelerator architectures, such as GPUs and the Cell Broadband Engine. Each accelerator has its own programming language, but the recently introduced OpenCL language unifies accelerator programming languages. Hereby, OpenCL achieves functional protability, allowing to reduce the development time of kernels. Functional portability however has limited value without performance portability: the possibility to re-use optimized kernels with good performance. This paper investigates the specificity of code optimizations to accelerator architecture and the severity of lack of performance portability.
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