[Haifux] talk offer: tapping into the fountaion of CPUs

Muli Ben-Yehuda muli at il.ibm.com
Wed Jan 2 13:20:54 MSK 2008

Would there be interest from the esteemed list members in hearing the
following paper, to be presented at ASPLOS '08?

Tapping into the Fountain of CPUs---On Operating System Support for
Programmable Devices, by Yaron Weinsberg, Danny Dolev, Tal Anker, Muli
Ben-Yehuda, Pete Wyckoff.

Abstract: The constant race for faster and more powerful CPUs is
drawing to a close. No longer is it feasible to significantly increase
the speed of the CPU without paying a crushing penalty in power
consumption and production costs. Instead of increasing single thread
performance, the industry is turning to multiple CPU threads or cores
(such as SMT and CMP) and heterogeneous CPU architectures (such as the
Cell Broadband Engine). While this is a step in the right direction,
in every modern PC there is a wealth of untapped compute
resources. The NIC has a CPU; the disk controller is programmable;
some high-end graphics adapters are already more powerful than host
CPUs. Some of these CPUs can perform some functions more efficiently
than the host CPUs.  Our operating systems and programming
abstractions should be expanded to let applications tap into these
computational resources and make the best use of them.

Therefore, we propose the Hydra framework, which lets application
developers use the combined power of every compute resource in a
coherent way. Hydra is a programming model and a runtime support layer
which enables utilization of host processors as well as various
programmable peripheral devices' processors. We present the framework
and its application for a demonstrative use-case, as well as provide a
thorough evaluation of its capabilities. Using Hydra we were able to
cut down the development cost of a system that uses multiple
heterogenous compute resources significantly.


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