On the Characterization of OpenCL Dwarfs on Fixed and Reconfigurable Platforms

Konstantinos Krommydas, Wu-chun Feng, Muhsen Owaida, Christos D. Antonopoulos, Nikolaos Bellas
Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech, 2014


   title={On the Characterization of OpenCL Dwarfs on Fixed and Reconfigurable Platforms},

   author={Krommydas, Konstantinos and Feng, Wu-chun and Owaida, Muhsen and Antonopoulos, Christos D. and Bellas, Nikolaos},



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The proliferation of heterogeneous computing platforms presents the parallel computing community with new challenges. One such challenge entails evaluating the efficacy of such parallel architectures and identifying the architectural innovations that ultimately benefit applications. To address this challenge, we need benchmarks that capture the execution patterns (i.e., dwarfs or motifs) of applications, both present and future, in order to guide future hardware design. Furthermore, we desire a common programming model for the benchmarks that facilitates code portability across a wide variety of different processors (e.g., CPU, APU, GPU, FPGA, DSP) and computing environments (e.g., embedded, mobile, desktop, server). As such, we present the latest release of OpenDwarfs, a benchmark suite that currently realizes the Berkeley dwarfs in OpenCL, a vendor-agnostic and open-standard computing language for parallel computing. Using OpenDwarfs, we characterize a diverse set of fixed and reconfigurable parallel platforms: multicore CPUs, discrete and integrated GPUs, Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor, as well as a FPGA. We describe the computation and communication patterns exposed by a representative set of dwarfs, obtain relevant profiling data and execution information, and draw conclusions that highlight the complex interplay between dwarfs’ patterns and the underlying hardware architecture of modern parallel platforms.
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