A Case for OS Friendly Hardware Accelerators

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Provided by: University of California San Francisco
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
Modern SoCs make extensive use of specialized hardware accelerators to meet the demanding energy-efficiency requirements of demanding applications, such as computer graphics and video encoding/decoding. Unfortunately, the state of the art is a sea of heterogeneous fixed-function processing units wired together in an ad-hoc fashion, with dedicated memory spaces and a wide variety of host-accelerator synchronization mechanisms. This cumbersome approach complicates acceleration of a mix of multi-programmed applications running on a conventional operating system, and adds considerable communication overhead that reduces achievable speedups on a wide range of applications.
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