Kernel Fusion: An Effective Method for Better Power Efficiency on Multithreaded GPU

Guibin Wang, YiSong Lin, Wei Yi
Nat. Lab. for Parallel & Distrib. Process. Sch. of Comput., Nat. Univ. of Defense Technol., Changsha, China
IEEE/ACM Int’l Conference on Green Computing and Communications (GreenCom), 2010 & Int’l Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing (CPSCom)


   title={Kernel Fusion: an Effective Method for Better Power Efficiency on Multithreaded GPU},

   author={Wang, G. and Lin, Y.S. and Yi, W.},



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As one of the most popular accelerators, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has demonstrated high computing power in several application fields. On the other hand, GPU also produces high power consumption and has been one of the most largest power consumers in desktop and supercomputer systems. However, software power optimization method targeted for GPU has not been well studied. In this work, we propose kernel fusion method to reduce energy consumption and improve power efficiency on GPU architecture. Through fusing two or more independent kernels, kernel fusion method achieves higher utilization and much more balanced demand for hardware resources, which provides much more potential for power optimization, such as dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS). Basing on the CUDA programming model, this paper also gives several different fusion methods targeted for different situations. In order to make judicious fusion strategy, we deduce the process of fusing multiple independent kernels as a dynamic programming problem, which could be well solved with many existing tools and be simply embedded into compiler or runtime system. To reduce the overhead introduced by kernel fusion, we also propose effective method to reduce the usage of shared memory and coordinate the thread space of the kernels to be fused. Detailed experimental evaluation validates that the proposed kernel fusion method could reduce energy consumption without performance loss for several typical kernels.
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