Processors Investigate

Optimizing Assignment of Threads to SPEs on the Cell BE Processor

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Executive Summary

The Cell is a heterogeneous multicore processor that has attracted much attention in the HPC community. The bulk of the computational workload on the Cell processor is carried by eight co-processors called SPEs. The SPEs are connected to each other and to main memory by a high speed bus called the Element Interconnect Bus (EIB), which is capable of 204.8 GB/s. However, access to the main memory is limited by the performance of the Memory Interface Controller (MIC) to 25.6 GB/s. It is, therefore, advantageous for the algorithms to be structured such that SPEs communicate directly between themselves over the EIB, and make less use of memory.

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