Programmability and Performance Portability Aspects of Heterogeneous Multi-/Manycore Systems

Christoph Kessler, Usman Dastgeer, Samuel Thibault, Raymond Namyst, Andrew Richards, Uwe Dolinsky, Siegfried Benkner, Jesper Larsson Traff, Sabri Pllana
Linkoping University, S-58183 Linkoping, Sweden
Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2012


   title={Programmability and performance portability aspects of heterogeneous multi-/manycore systems},

   author={Kessler, C. and Dastgeer, U. and Thibault, S. and Namyst, R. and Richards, A. and Dolinsky, U. and Benkner, S. and Traff, JL and Pllana, S.},

   booktitle={Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2012},





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We discuss three complementary approaches that can provide both portability and an increased level of abstraction for the programming of heterogeneous multicore systems. Together, these approaches also support performance portability, as currently investigated in the EU FP7 project PEPPHER. In particular, we consider (1) a library-based approach, here represented by the integration of the SkePU C++ skeleton programming library with the StarPU runtime system for dynamic scheduling and dynamic selection of suitable execution units for parallel tasks; (2) a language-based approach, here represented by the Offload-C++ high-level language extensions and Offload compiler to generate platform-specific code; and (3) a component-based approach, specifically the PEPPHER component system for annotating user-level application components with performance metadata, thereby preparing them for performance-aware composition. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and show how they could complement each other in an integrational programming framework for heterogeneous multicore systems.
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