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GPUfs: Integrating a File System with GPUs

Mark Silberstein, Bryan Ford, Idit Keidar, Emmett Witchel
University of Texas at Austin
Eighteenth International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, 2013

@article{silberstein2013gpufs,

   title={GPUfs: Integrating a File System with GPUs},

   author={Silberstein, M. and Ford, B. and Keidar, I. and Witchel, E.},

   year={2013}

}

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As GPU hardware becomes increasingly general-purpose, it is quickly outgrowing the traditional, constrained GPU-as-coprocessor programming model. To make GPUs easier to program and improve their integration with operating systems, we propose making the host’s file system directly accessible to GPU code. GPUfs provides a POSIX-like API for GPU programs, exploits GPU parallelism for efficiency, and optimizes GPU file access by extending the host CPU’s buffer cache into GPU memory. Our experiments, based on a set of real benchmarks adapted to use our file system, demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of the GPUfs approach. For example, a self-contained GPU program that searches for a set of strings throughout the Linux kernel source tree runs over seven times faster than on an eight-core CPU.
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