Supporting OpenMP on Cell
The Cell processor is a heterogeneous multi-core processor with one Power Processing Engine (PPE) core and eight Synergistic Processing Engine (SPE) cores. Each SPE has a directly accessible small local memory (256K), and it can access the system memory through DMA operations. Cell programming is complicated both by the need to explicitly manage DMA data transfers for SPE computation, as well as the multiple layers of parallelism provided in the architecture, including heterogeneous cores, multiple SPE cores, multithreading, SIMD units, and multiple instruction issue. There is a significant amount of ongoing research in programming models and tools that attempts to make it easy to exploit the computation power of the Cell architecture.