Accelerating the Execution of Matrix Languages on the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture

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Executive Summary

Matrix languages, including MATLAB and Octave, are established standards for applications in science and engineering. They provide interactive programming environments that are easy to use due to their scripting languages with matrix data types. Current implementations of matrix languages do not fully utilise high-performance, special-purpose chip architectures such as the IBM PowerXCell processor (Cell), which is currently used in the fastest computer in the world. The authors present a new framework that extends Octave to harness the computational power of the Cell. With this framework the programmer is relieved of the burden of introducing explicit notions of parallelism. Instead the programmer uses a new matrix data-type to execute matrix operations in parallel on the Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs) of the Cell.

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