Algorithmic GPGPU Memory Optimization

Byunghyun Jang, Minsu Choi, Kyung Ki Kim
Heterogeneous Systems Research (HEROES) Laboratory, The University of Mississippi, University MS 38677 USA
International SoC design conference (ISOCC), 2013


   title={Algorithmic GPGPU Memory Optimization},

   author={Jang, Byunghyun and Choi, Minsu and Kim, Kyung Ki},



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The performance of General-Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) is heavily dependent on the memory access behavior. This sensitivity is due to a combination of the underlying Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) execution model present on GPUs and the lack of architectural support to handle irregular memory access patterns. Application performance can be significantly improved by applying memory-access-pattern-aware optimizations that can exploit knowledge of the characteristics of each access pattern. In this paper, we present an algorithmic methodology to semi-automatically find the best mapping of memory accesses present in serial loop nest to underlying data-parallel architectures based on a comprehensive static memory access pattern analysis. To that end we present a simple, yet powerful, mathematical model that captures all memory access pattern information present in serial data-parallel loop nests. We then show how this model is used in practice to select the most appropriate memory space for data and to search for an appropriate thread mapping and work group size from a large design space. To evaluate the effectiveness of our methodology, we have created a tool that incorporates our proposed algorithmic optimizations and report on execution speedup using selected benchmark kernels that cover a wide range of memory access patterns commonly found in GPGPU workloads. Our experimental results are reported using the industry standard heterogeneous programming language, OpenCL, targeting the NVIDIA GT200 architecture.
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